Sunday, December 27, 2009


Recently, while at a trade show, I was visiting with a British lady that lives in Connecticut. Joan was intrigued with a basket I had filled with Milagros. Milagros are small silver charms available in a variety of shapes and each shape has a special, sacred meaning in the Spanish culture. For example, a Milagro in the shape of a heart would be attached to a wooden cross, at the local cathedral, and a prayer would be said for a loved one experiencing heart/health issues.

I use Milagros in my design work and had a few for sale. Joan purchased all the small,silver charms. Since she had never heard of them; I asked how she would use them. She said they would be hung on her Christmas tree this year. She then shared this story.

It was 1940, and Joan was a young girl living in the heart of London. Her Mother had told her there would be no Christmas celebrations, no tree, no holiday lights that year, due to the Blitz.

On her daily walk to school, Joan noticed a small tree and decided this would be her Christmas tree. She would pick up cigarette wrappers, and the inside foil wrappers would be twisted into small butterflies. Broken spoons and any other shiny found “bits” also became ornaments for the tree.

Dusk on Christmas Eve, found neighbors in the community gathered around Joan’s decorated tree. As Joan and her family took in the beauty of the small tree, the air-raid sirens began. Joan’s Mother hurried her family into their shelter, the center of their living room. Huddled in their home, in the dark, while the bombs fell, the family began to sing “Silent Night”.

This year Joan’s family’s Christmas tree will be trimmed with beautiful glass ornaments, Milagro charms and small “foil cigarette wrapper” butterflies.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy 2010.

Vickie Brown