This is my son in Germany, 1983, showing his fascination with Angel Chimes, and probably trying to blow out the candles. We sometimes only lit one candle in order to slow down the speed that the angels flew round and struck the bell. The chimes were very popular in Germany and we would have bought ours there, during our tour with the RAF.
Although it was a charming and delightful decoration, the novelty sometimes wore off after a short while, due to the repetition of the dinging, rather akin to a dripping tap. The fact that we no longer have this particuar set of Angel Chimes, probably confirms my suspicions that we grew out of them eventually. We now have a minature Angel Chimes (with no noise). There are numerous You Tube videos of people with their own, much-treasured vintage versions, some still in the original packaging. Many feature small children and their reactions to them; others show how to take them out of the box and assemble them, which was no mean feat.
Some the decorations we invested in at that time were beautiful and deserved to be heirlooms. Unfortunately, over many years of being packed away and then re-assembled, some of them suffered damage. In the picture below, from the same year, can be seen two traditional Räuchermann figures; The Essenkehrer (chimney sweep) and the Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas) on the mantelpiece.
The chimney sweep was particularly vulnerable as arms, ladder and other bits and pieces were constantly being glued back on.I think in a moment of frustration a few years ago, we decided we'd had enough and he was thrown out. I see now that this was particularly ill-judged, as current models cost a considerable sum; we’ll look after the Weihnachtsmann more carefully for sure. Here he is in action last year.
I also regret throwing away out beautifully carved Christmas table centre, which doubled as an Advent Ring. We would light one more candle each Sunday in Advent and then on Christmas Eve all four would be lit.
This decoration suffered the same fate as the poor old chimney sweep; after several re-sprays and much gluing, we decided we’d had enough. What a shame we didn’t just appreciate it for the its age and the memories it held. One more regret.
It can be seen gracing the Christmas Table over the years of family photographs, and is just visible behind my own two angels in this picture.
One decoration from those years which we still have, thank goodness, is our Weihnachtspyramide (Christmas Pyramid) below. This operates in the same way as the Angel Chimes; the candles generate the heat which turns the turbine and send the Nativity Scene spinning round. Unlike the Angel Chimes, this is silent and we still love to light it each Christmas.
For more Christmas memories from the past, be sure to light some candles and go to Sepia Saturday and see what other contributors made of the prompt