Saturday, December 20, 2008

oh christmas tree...

Tree facts:

* always real. Sometimes from a tree lot, but the last few years from Lowes.
* always white lights, never blinking. My family had colored blinking lights on our tree when I was young, so maybe that's why I like them the opposite. I think colored blinking lights are fun for outdoors.
* lights only. For a few years, I did gold bows and gold glass ball ornaments. For a few years, I did red bows and red glass ball ornaments. Now it's just lights and family ornaments. Some are coach sal's and I from childhood; some are from when we were first married; and others are the children's that have been added over the past (*gasp*) 15 years...

I'm really crazy (so says coach sal) about my wrapping papers and ribbons coordinating and looking *just right*. Last year I actually did not like how it all looked once I got it under the tree, so I unwrapped some gifts and went and bought new paper. I was justified in my thinking- the new paper looked fan-ta-bulous.

I am especially pleased with my choosings this year- I think it looks superb! I also love the idea of using our family photo as gift tags (I made wallets in black and white). That idea I took from the internet last year.

When coach sal and I were dating and engaged in the late 80s, Ziggy was the "big" card character. We were always sending each other Ziggy cards and paraphenalia, and we were in constant competition to find the coolest, newest, HEY-where-did-you-find-that-one Ziggy card. This is an ornament from when we were first married.

This ornament celebrates our first Christmas married.

Another story that makes me think of was the year 1994, when we closed on our first house on December NINETEENTH (yes, you read that right). Can you imagine how distressing that is to a Christmas elf like me??? I bought my tree that year right after Thanksgiving because I was afraid to wait until the 19th- what if there were no trees left? No good trees? So it sat in a bucket of water on our townhouse screened porch until we moved. (Yes, we moved the tree- at least it wasn't decorated).

This is our hand-tatted angel tree topper. It came to us in 1992. I went to the ladies' Christmas party at church, where we played the present-trading game. I was number ONE out of about 50 ladies, so at the end I could go back and steal anyone's gift. I had THE prized position for the game. So I chose first, and chose this angel, made by one of the eldest women in our congregation (she had been brought from the nursing home, out for this special evening, and had created this angel herself). When it was time to trade, I said "no, thank you". I LOVED my angel! They all thought I was being *nice* because she was so elderly, but really, I wanted my angel! She still sits atop our tree...

Now I'm sure you've seen the NEW "Elf on a Shelf" this year? Well, here's OUR elf, which has been in coach sal's family since he was a little boy. He says in their house the elf hid in the tree each year, and they had to try to find him... sal thinks it's funny to have him peeking up the angel's... (ahem...)... SKIRT!

For shame...he's gonna be on Santa's naughty list!

This is my very favorite childhood ornament- the baby in the nutshell. It was given to me by a family member who had gone to Germany to visit. I loved dolls and babies, so I always like pulling this one out and hanging it in a special place, where the baby was cozy and safe. Sometimes I would take it off the tree and play with it in my dollhouse.

This silver bell is coach sal's from childhood. It reminds me of a partridge in a pear tree. It rings like the bell in "It's a Wonderful Life". Sounds just the same.

I hope you enjoyed the tree tour! What are some special traditions of your family tree?


Born Blonde said...

That's my favorite part of decorating the tree -- seeing all the family ornaments from the past years. I've made one every year since we were married too (except one particularly stressful one) so we can go back and see the story of our lives together.

By the way, I love the angel story. I have a story like that too. The handmade gifts like that are the best of all!

Lori said...

I'm glad you have the Elf. I have the photo ornament Aunt MaeDell made that has me (in ringlets) and Larry (in knee socks!). Tradition is that no matter where the boys originally hang it, it has to be moved to the front and center of the tree so I can see it. It makes me smile.

We always have a real tree (Adam) and it has to have colored solid lights. No blinkers for us either. We also have to have the thin tinsel and Adam's the only one who can touch the tinsel. I'm not sure why; I've stopped wondering at this point.

I like all my gift wrap to match and I have to spread it under the tree like a Christmas card. This worked well the first couple of years we were married; after the boys came along, Adam insisted that I move to his family tradition of making stacks for each kid. They had 5 kids so they had to do something to get through the morning. So now I make it nice and pretty, take some pix, and then stack the gifts to make all the boys happy.

I have yet to find a wreath I love. I think I'm just too picky. I have tremendous wreaths for every other holiday/season, but only 2 so-so wreaths for Christmas. And that makes me sad.