Chatham, New York
Fiction/Memoir | Soft news
8 December 2016 10:45AM
Karrie Allen


From collection of almost 3,000, Bonnie MacKay shares 100 in book

MALDEN BRIDGE — It was the Friday before Thanksgiving and on the dining room table at Bonnie MacKay’s Malden Bridge home was a mere fraction of the nearly 3,000 Christmas ornaments she has collected.
She had pulled out several boxes of ornaments for the interview, admitting that they usually don’t come out until she has put the Christmas tree up in the adjoining room; the tree is usually so wide, it stands in the middle of the room.
Since it was well ahead of tree trimming time, she said it was nice to be able to just show some of her ornaments and share their stories.
MacKay said she usually gets a blue spruce, since it is wider and provides natural shelves.
She loves to sit things on the tree — something she learned from her mother, who would nest her Madame Alexander dolls in the tree, she said.
She later added that anything can be used as an ornament (like the hand-carved painted wood horse head from Bhutan, brought back by a friend; see story in book).
The weekend after Thanksgiving, she and her husband, Bob, headed over to Pinto Ranch Tree Farm in Valatie to pick out a tree, she said after the holiday. Since the spruces didn’t look so good this year, they went with a Fraser fir.
The tree is not yet decorated, MacKay said, as she is busy with book signings for her book, “Tree of Treasures: A Life in Ornaments” (see related link for local book signing). However, once she has a moment, she will sit back and observe the tree to decide where each ornament will go, she wrote in her book.
“No year is the same,” MacKay wrote.

Surrounded by several ornaments, many featured in her book, Bonnie MacKay holds the Watchful Angel ornament, which along with her other angel ornaments, hangs near the top of the Christmas tree every year. Karrie Allen/Columbia-Greene Media

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