Last night, I watched Hallmark’s “A Little Christmas Charm” about the search for the owner of a charm bracelet. The charms on the bracelet had been added one a year for 10 years. The woman who found the bracelet assumed that it meant a lot to the woman who had lost it, and used the charms as clues to the woman’s identity.
The movie led me to think about my own charm bracelet and what it might say about my life. I found the bracelet in the back of a jewelry drawer and polished it up. Unlike the story in the movie, my 18 charms were collected during a two-year period — my last two years of high school. They are not attached to the bracelet in any particular order. The first charm was the Sweet 16, a gift from my parents for my 16th birthday.
Some of the charms tell a story of who I am. I was born in May (Birthday Angel), took piano lessons for six years (Musical Note), worked as a lifeguard at neighborhood pools (Whistle), and lived in Massachusetts for the first 30 years of my life (Massachusetts Map). The Religious Sister represented my plans to join a religious congregation in the fall following my high-school graduation.
Other charms give a picture of who I was in high school. Among other activities, I served on the yearbook committee (Yearbook), and the class ring committee (Class Ring). I won an award for interpretive reading at a speech festival (Massachusetts Speech Festival). One award I was particularly proud of was being valedictorian of my graduating class (Blue Ribbon 1st).
A few of the charms represent vacations at Hampton Beach and Cape Cod and my love for the beach (Conch Shell, Lobster, Seahorse), while others are souvenirs of visits to New York (United Nations Logo, St. Patrick’s Cathedral), and Hyannisport (JFK in a Rocking Chair).
Finally, there are two for which I cannot recall any specific memory. I have no connection to The Telegram. However, the message inside says “Happy Birthday”, so I can only guess that it was a gift. The Hula Girl may have been a gift from my maternal grandmother who did travel to Hawaii, where I have been in the airport only on my way to Japan many years later.
My guess is that many of you who are near to my age have similar charm bracelets with equally amazing stories and memories. I would love to hear some of them.