Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Ties of Christmas


For my contribution to the 2009 Virtual Advent Tour I decided to spotlight Tom's Christmas ties. He is a 7th and 8th grade English teacher, and his ties are always a great source of interest in the classroom.







The Christmas tree tie in the middle belonged to Tom's late grandfather. You may see above that it is shorter than the others. They must have worn them that way in his day.


This is the tag on the back of the tie.


Alfred E. Newman from Mad Magazine, one of Tom's favorites when he was a kid.


The ties run the gamut from a sedate blue one of Christmas presents wrapped in white ribbons to a wild Santa and reindeer and penguins(??).


I'm quite fond of the multi-Santa tie, and the musical instruments with red bows.


The twelve days of Christmas was a gift from Tom's aunt. I love this one.


And then, the queen of the ties is this one made for Tom by one of his students years ago. This girl was only 13 or 14 then, and she must have spent hours on all that beadwork. She is now a teacher herself, and still creates art.


Remember the fun of opening a window or door each day on an Advent calendar? Well, reading the daily entries on the Virtual Advent Tour is a bit like that. And just as the calendars vary greatly in their design, so do each of the Advent writings. Some are remembrances, some are recipes, some are music. I have found the site to be a lovely way to begin each day during this Advent season.

39 comments:

  1. Those are some interesting ties. Thanks for visiting today.

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  2. And I thank you for coming over here. I'll be back to visit you again.

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  3. Great idea for the Virtual Advent. My day is the 11th, and I have been thinking of writing something which has not already been used...and now you took the ties. LOL. Not that I had thought about that myself, don't worry :-D

    Happy Holidays from Copenhagen, Denmark.

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  4. Thank you, Louise! I was thinking of calling it 'tie one on.' :<) My godson is coming over to your land next month!

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  5. What a great collection. I bet his students love seeing them each year. Thanks for sharing such a fun piece of your celebration.

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  6. This reminds me of my mother's collection of Christmas tree pins!!

    I do love that dark blue tie with the silver presents!

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  7. What a fun whimsical post!

    I am sure your husband's students love the ties in the classroom.

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  8. Dave and Tami, thank you for coming by! He has a lot of fun wearing the ties, and has a lot of interesting ones for the rest of the year, too. :<)

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  9. Fun post, Nan! That beaded tie is incredible -- especially considering the maker's age at the time.

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  10. Does he have to wear dress shirts and ties to class daily, or only during Christmas?

    That beaded tie made by his student is outstanding. Amazing that the beads have not fallen off by now.

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  11. These ties are such fun. I bet the students do look forward to seeing which tie he wears each day. He should have one for each day of advent. The beaded one is a treasure.

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  12. The ties are wonderful! Reminded me of how often we hear or see the Christmas sweaters, yet, we do not hear of men's Christmas wear! Gives room as food for thought for new traditions.

    Curiousity has me ask - what is required reading these days for 7th and 7th graders? I always browse the Summer required reading at Barnes & Noble and scan the titles.

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  13. Pamela, you ought to post a picture of the pins! That's amazing.

    Molly, thank you. The kids do like them, esp. the ones with characters they recognize. What is really interesting is for example - not many kids now recognize his Pink Floyd tie.

    Sprite, it really is incredible!

    Gigi, he doesn't ever have to wear ties if he doesn't want to! And his 'dress shirts' are wrinkly but cool button down shirts but nothing fancy at all. The beaded tie is hung carefully the rest of the year so it doesn't get hurt.

    Lisa, it is a treasure. This year there are 16 days he goes to school in December, and he doesn't start wearing them till the second week so it works out that he wears one a day for eight days. I don't think he wears the same one twice.

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  14. Awesome! The ties are great, and what a fun treat for his students.

    I like how you compare the Advent tour to the Advent windows - all different but lovely in their own right.
    Merry Christmas Nan!

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  15. I was wondering the same as gigihawaii; here in Germany, teachers are hardly ever seen wearing ties.
    The one that was inherited, the shorter one, was probably from the late 50s / early 60s. They did indeed wear their ties a bit shorter and generally narrower than today.

    Just like the one about the old kitchen calendars, this post was so nice to read and look at - I have now added myself to your list of followers :-)

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  16. what a good idea. My husband is a principal. I'll have to pick him up some Christmas ties.

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  17. Linda, how nice to hear from you! In answer to your question, Tom doesn't require any specific reading. He has an in-classroom library and kids may borrow books from it. He offers 20 minutes of reading time each day; silent reading of books chosen by the kids. He has had a lot of feedback from older graduates who say this got them to like reading. He does have some group reading during the year.

    Raidergirl, I am so enjoying the variety and the heart in all the blog entries.

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  18. Librarian, aren't you so nice! Thanks. I'll have to ask Tom if other teachers wear them. The kids and I have given him fun ties for so long now. A while back I hung them on curtain rods and took a picture. If you are the least bit interested :<) you may see it here (and click to make larger):

    http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2007/05/quote-du-jourpg-wodehouse.html

    Kaye, that's a great idea! Our local postmaster wears fun ties all the time. When my kids were little, their pediatrician wore great ones. It kind of adds a little fun to the day!

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  19. I know someone like your hubby!! He retired this year from teaching so I really miss his holiday tie collection!

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  20. Staci, that's so great. I think the ties add a joy and whimsy to the season!

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  21. That was GREAT! I like the beaded one. They're all so fun and festive- just a good tone for a classroom :-)

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  22. This is a very individual post! What a great idea! I wish I was as talented as his student. :) Thanks for joining in and happy holidays!

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  23. Aarti, thank you! You are so right!

    Kailana, I couldn't resist. Those ties just looked so festive!

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  24. I love the ties. That is awesome and I love the grandpa tie what a wonderful tradition.

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  25. Love the ties! My late husband was an executive for the Du Pont Company, and had the biggest assortment of ties I'd ever seen (non whimsical or funny ones, though).

    When he died I had a large assortment of them and put them on a table for the memorial service, offering them as gifts to his friends and relatives. They were pleased to get them, and I was so happy that somebody would wear them again and think of him.

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  26. Tom has an amazing collection of Christmas ties. I'm sure the students must love them!

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  27. Your post made me want to find my holiday ties. I haven't worn them in years since moving to Hawaii. Thanks for the fun post today.

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  28. Krissi, I'm very fond of that one too. It is softer than all the others.

    Mary Lois, what a kind, thoughtful thing to do. I've never heard of such a thing, and I think it is wonderful. Tom has a couple of ties we call 'power ties.' :<) But mostly, they are fun ties.

    JoAnn, I think they do! Today he's wearing Alfred E. Newman. :<)

    Debbie, thank you!

    Rob, hope you can find them. You could post some pics on your blog!

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  29. I feel the same way about the Advent Tour - it's become a highlight of my season.

    My uncle and my husband both have a collection of Christmas ties, which get worn with pride and much amusement. My husband would really like that Mad Magazine one.

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  30. Julia, I wish I could tell you where the Alfred E. Newman came from but I can't recall.

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  31. Awesome ties! It is so neat that he made such an impact on his student he receieved a homemade tie. Great post!

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  32. Jenn, thank you! And it's great that she is still in touch with him, now that she is married with children.

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  33. Really impressive ties! They are very comfortable and colorful.

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  34. I love this entry, Nan! I remember having teachers who had fancy ties, and how it was a source of conversation in the classroom. We all knew it was coming up to Christmas when certain teachers broke out the festive ties.

    The one with the beadwork is amazing. What a special gift!

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  35. Your tree looks like a beauty, and that tie collection---too funny.

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  36. Kay, they are!

    Kiirstin, are your socks a conversation piece at work? :<)

    Diane, he has some other ties that are fun, too - sylvester and tweety bird, wallace and gromit, one of just ties. :<)

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  37. I just found your site from Pat's Commonweeder, nice and congrats!

    Interestimg post... my DH was born and raised in Stamford and remembers going to Bob's Sport Shop often when he was growing up.

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  38. Mattenylou, Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a note. What years did your husband live in Stamford? I've just spent a while at your beautiful blog and will be back.

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