Wednesday, December 21, 2016

O Christmas Tree



2016 Christmas Tree


Today, I decorated the Christmas tree.  It is a pre-lit artificial tree that I have had for at least 15 years, if not more.  I used to buy a fresh tree every year, and loved the smell of a fresh tree, but the artificial one works out well enough for me, these days.

There is no theme to my tree, no color scheme.  Just an assortment of ornaments I've accumulated over the years.  For my daughter's first Christmas, however, I decorated the tree with baby shoes.  Another year, when she was about three and was learning her alphabet, I bought several sets of alphabet blocks and attached them with gold cord I hot glued to the tops to make loops.  I still have those alphabet block ornaments, but don't use them, any more.  The tree skirt isn't a really a skirt, either; just a rectangular piece of fabric printed with a Christmas tree design which my mother hemmed and which we first used as a table cloth!

Growing up in Sri Lanka, I had a Christmas tree as a child.  My mother's side of the family were/are all Catholic and they celebrated Christmas in a big way.  According to my cousin, I had wanted a Christmas tree of my own after I had seen the one they had.  I suppose my parents found it difficult to explain to a 3-year old why her cousins had Christmas trees and she didn't.  I don't quite remember exactly when I was allowed to have a Christmas tree, but I remember going with my father to a neighbor's house, one year when I was about 6 or 7 (my father died when I was 7+, so it was before that), and asking for a branch of one of the pine trees growing in her garden.   Looking back, I am sure my father compensated her for the tree, but I wasn't to know that.  I continued to have a tree until I was 11 and then, I didn't have another tree until I was in my 20s.

Live and Learn had a post where she shared the stories behind some of her Christmas ornaments and I enjoyed reading it so much, I decided to do a similar post about some of my ornaments, as well!






Handmade by Daughter

My daughter made this salt dough ornament when she was 3 years old and in the child care center.  It was her Christmas gift to me, that year.


Felt Stocking
My daughter made this felt stocking when she was in 1st Grade.  That was the year when she wrote her letter to Santa Claus at school and requested "something nice for my Mom to wear" because she had heard me complain about not having anything nice to wear when I went to family gatherings, etc.!  Her class teacher called me aside one day and showed me her list.  Santa really had to scramble to fulfill her request, that year!  The next year, she listed "something nice for my Mom to wear and something for my Grandma, too".


Porcelain Angel

One of three porcelain angels my mother bought for me, one year.  She gave me two brass angels another year, and the angel on top of the tree is also what she bought for me.

The very first year my parents and I came to California, my mother was given an artificial Christmas tree by the parent of one of her students, but she gave the tree to her sister.  I helped my aunt decorate her tree and then, came home and decorated a potted pothos plant with with paper ornaments I cut out from some Christmas cards we had received and some red yarn I had on hand.  My mother asked me why I hadn't told her I wanted a tree of my own, but I knew it was important to her to give the tree to her sister.  The next year, my mother managed to obtain another artificial tree (the school in which she taught had bought a new tree and was getting rid of their old tree) and she brought that home for me and a box of red, silk covered plastic ornaments.  I decorated the ornaments with bits and pieces of trim we had on hand.  I still have about six of those ornaments and this is one of them:  


Decorated Silk Wrapped Ornaments

A couple of years later, I bought some glass baubles during an after-Christmas sale.  Two boxes each of plain gold, red, blue, and green baubles at $1 per box (12 per box).  Then, I drew designs on some with glue and added glitter to them:


Glittery Glass Baubles

I left the gold baubles plain, but attached felt bows to the top of them.  A few of them have fallen and broken over the years, but I still have quite a few remaining and I hang them on the tree, every year I put up one.

I didn't put up a tree the year my mother died.  Another year, when my daughter was in high school, I didn't put up a Christmas tree because I was waiting for her to help and she wasn't interested!  That year, I decorated an avocado seedling that I was growing from a seed!  I had to use the smallest of papier mache apples and some strands of tinsel because the poor seedling couldn't bear the weight of anything heavy!  But most years, I do put up a tree and decorate it.

Those are the stories behind some of my Christmas tree ornaments.  Each one brings memories of Christmases past as we celebrate Christmas present and look forward to future Christmases. 

Do you have stories and memories behind your Christmas ornaments? 

18 comments:

  1. My tree is like yours, full of memories. Every year on holiday we try to find something special to add to the collection of ornaments. This year we brought back a little Mafia man from Sicily

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    1. It's like having a personalized tree, isn't it? I've seen very pretty themed trees, but go with my own mixture of ornaments every year!

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  2. I loved hearing the stories of your Christmas trees over the years. Such varied and touching stories and your tree this year is beautiful.

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    1. Thank you! I enjoyed telling the stories! :)

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  3. Your tree is beautiful..[proud you felt like putting it up..].
    I really enjoyed all the stories behind your tree and ornaments.. How fun. Thank you for sharing.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and your daughter.
    ps.. We have the letters to Santa that was published in the newspaper.The school teachers would have each child in first and second grade to tell her what they wanted to say to Santa.. She would write it for them..[exactly what they would say..] Some years they would be so funny and then some times you wonder where in the world they came up with such.lol So fun to go back and read them.

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    1. Thank you, Judy. I enjoyed sharing my memories (especially since my daughter is not all that interested in hearing them, year after year!). :D

      I have one or two of my daughter's letters to Santa. She asked for some very specific things, some years, and poor Santa had to go scrambling all over to find them! Other years, it was more general and easier to fulfill.

      I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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  4. Pretty :-) I don't have ornaments on my tree this year except for one, a reindeer Bubby painted a few days ago. And somebody likes to grab my cleaning rags (cut up white shirts) and hang across the branches and stand back and say "pretty".

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    1. Aw, that's so cute that he's decorating the tree! It's the ones they make that become keepsakes over the years. Wish you and your family the very best Christmas and a wonderful New Year, Jess. Here's to new beginnings.

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  5. What a lovely Christmas tree! Have a wonderful holiday season!

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    1. Thank you, Anne. Wish you and your family a lovely holiday season, too.

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  6. What a wonderful post! I loved reading the story behind your ornaments. It has got me thinking about some of mine. Ours are all a mish-mash of different things. I still have a lot of my children's ornaments though we don't put them all on the tree anymore as it is much smaller. My MIL used to buy the children a new ornament each year. With three of them you can imagine this quite adds up! There are a lot of homemade ornaments - some the kids made and others made my MIL or myself. I've never been into colour coordinated trees or stylishly decorated ones. Ours were always decorated by the kids until they got too old too care. Many years they ended up very lopsided!

    Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories.

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    1. My pleasure! Glad you enjoyed the post and it brought back good memories. I, too, have some special ornaments I bought for my daughter over the years - a teddy bear on a rocking horse for her first Christmas, music notes for the year she started having piano lessons, a few ballerinas for when she started ballet lessons, etc. I should box them up and give them to her.

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones.

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  7. Love the photo of your tree and ornaments. We have ornaments with special history including the ones I made from scraps when we moved over 40 years ago to the area where we now live. We didn't expect to stay in Canada then, and so I didn't invest in a lot of decorations but they few we had were soon added to over the years and of course our son contributed. The earliest one was a little jagged piece of paper cut like a tree shape and decorated. He must have been really young then. I still put it on the tree, along with the paper angel with crooked pasta features! I like the decorations with memories the best.
    Bushlady

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    1. Personalized decorations are the best! Have you shared with your granddaughter the ornaments her dad made as a child? I'm sure she'll be intrigued by them. :)

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  8. What a great idea to share the stories behind each ornament. It's so interesting to hear how others obtain ornaments. I've never not had a tree for Christmas. They've varied in size and some have been live and others faux. Our living room tree usually contains our family ornaments but this year I decorated it all in gold. The family ornaments are on the guest room tree. Will go back to having them in the living room next year because we really like seeing them and they evoke so many fond memories. Wishing you, your daughter and Dancer a Merry Christmas!!!.

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. I thought your tree looked very elegant! But then, all your decorations look very elegant. It's obvious you put a lot of thought into everything. Wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, too, and a Happy New Year.

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  9. I really enjoyed this post Bless and reading about the stories behind your decorations. I've bought the children an ornament every year since they were born so my tree never has a theme as such either, but a tree without their ornaments on wouldn't feel the same now.

    I love that your daughter asked for something nice for you to wear and then included Grandma next year. Obviously a very kind and thoughtful girl even as a young child.

    I haven't seen one of those silk baubles for years but they are lovely. I wonder if they still sell them, something I'm off to investigate right now. xx

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne. :) Come to think of it, I haven't seen those silk baubles in years, myself. I was disappointed mine weren't with a styrofoam center - I had a silk bauble with a styrofoam center that my mother had received, which was decorated with beaded pins and I wanted to make more like that.

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