I was chatting with a friend recently and was amused to learn that I am not the only one who remembers the antique glass Christmas ornaments known as “Shiny Brites.” (There’s an interesting history behind the Shiny Brite company dating all the way back to 1937 — check out the Wikipedia entry.)
My mother admonished my siblings and I every year to “Be careful with those! They’re antiques!” But every year such admonitions were beside the point — there were always a couple of fragile ornaments that were already broken when we hauled out the Christmas decorations from the garage. (We stored them there in an immense cardboard … barrel. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.)
Anyway, the point is this — apparently no one in m y family was especially good at packing fragile items, because every year we’d find at least one reduced to a fine, sparkling dust at the bottom of whatever box they’d been tucked away in — like ground pepper the color of glittering silver.
The picture below of Shiny Brite ornaments is a little disappointing, but it was the only public domain image I could find. These look quite modern and normal; they’re just fine. The ones I grew up with were much different — with tapered glass indentations that looked … arguably kinda ugly, if I’m being honest here. It’s impossible to describe; you have to see them. (If you have, you what I mean.)