Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas decorating

Yesterday I planned to get out my Christmas dishes and Christmas quilts. Getting the dishes out and putting away the hand painted china on my hutch shelves is a days work in itself. Jack had other plans. I had mentioned that prelit Christmas trees did not come in huge boxes and that they had branches that folded up and were easy to put together. He decided yesterday to have a look. When he saw the size of the boxes and picked one up to test the weight he was sold. We looked around at a few stores and came home with one from Michael's. It has been his job to set up the tree and put the lights on it. Our old tree is very heavy and has a wide diameter at the bottom. We had shortened it and we left off 2 rows of bottom branches in recent years and it was still big. This one is narrower but not really a slim tree. My new tree skirt does not get lost under it.
These photos show close up sections of our tree from the top down. Our tree is not a "decorator" tree. There is no cohesive design but everything on it has meaning to us. There are ornaments that our children and grandchildren and great grand children made or bought for us. There are things that I made with the children when they were little, ornaments that friends gave me, some of them handmade, others purchased because they had a special meaning to our friendship. There are some ornaments that are from my childhood. I remember when I was 9 years old my mother finding a set of colored glass icicles somewhere, when there were very few to be had anywhere during WW2. There is a gold bell that was attached to a gift that I gave my mother when I was 16. There are ornaments that I bought over the years and I remember where they came from and why I bought them. 

The middle photo has a handmade scrub nurse from a coworker for an ornament exchange one year. The macrame reindeer is from another co worker; the little white fuzzy sheep are part of a set of handmade ornaments I bought at a Friends Church Eastern Region auction to support missions. There are compact disks with sticky foamy shapes like those that the 4 and 5 year old is our child care group at church made; these are from my own great grand children. There are candy canes made from beads strung on wire that were made over the years by all the generations of children in the family and friends that stopped by  while the kids were making them.

Another close up of the new tree skirt

This is the star we bought for the top of the tree to replace what had gotten to tattered to use anymore. It was a very difficult year, 11 months after our 23 year old grand son was killed in an accident. Our daughter and her husband and their one daughter, who was unmarried and still living at home went to Williamsburg for Christmas that year. Every year when we put up the tree I remember how we got through that Christmas by immersing ourselves in everything that our church was doing and in the rest of the family and every thing that was going on in our community.

I guess you could say this is a nostalgia  tree. When we considered a smaller tree we knew it had to be big enough to hold all our memories.

Today I will get out the Christmas dishes and the Christmas quilts. There are some memories there too.

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