Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas memory tree past and present

A tree of memories

Husband Walter has been working on assembling our artftcial Christmas tree today and yesterday. This is its final year. It is shedding needles . . . and branches.

How could that be? We just bought it in an after-Christmas sale a few years ago. A few years? Hubby informed me it was in 1995. That’s sixteen years ago.

As hubby was wrestling with strings of lights, I tossed out the idea that we could just go buy a new tree. No, he had already invested energy and heavy thinking into wiring limbs in place and putting some of the lights on. Besides, paying full, before-Christmas prices for seasonal decorations and “stuff” is not in our genetic code.

At least I haven’t seen any silver duct tape holding the tree together . . . yet.

Now don’t start cringing if you choose to deck the halls well after Thanksgiving. I have a good reason for an early tree set up. I am hoping for a repeat of last year’s tree decorating with grandkids and their moms and dads following our after-Thanksgiving meal Friday.

Grandchildren create the 2010 edition of our Christmas tree.

For each of our sons there is a box containing ornaments that we gave them each year and ornaments they made in elementary school. Although the Christmas keepsakes survive in various stages of wear, tear, and disrepair, the memories still sparkle.

When I hold a little wooden truck ornament, for example, I can see our youngest son as a toddler, lying under the Christmas tree, rolling the truck back and forth on the floor. The ornament was still attached to a tree branch, so he was also pulling that branch down almost to the floor, too.

A still beautiful bright red glittering egg-shaped ornament brings back memories of our oldest son proudly sharing exactly how he successfully blew the raw egg out a tiny hole and kept the egg shell intact for decorating.

Daughters-in-law have added to our memories, too, with now treasured ornaments. And as I “undecorated” the tree last year, I discovered tiny Lego Clone Wars soldiers from the Star Wars’ series, left behind from grandsons' intergalactic battles.

Last year’s decorating chaos was priceless. This year our youngest grand is an active 18 months old. We’ll see how that works!


  1. what a wonderful tradition to do this on Black Friday instead of shopping. And to always have a special day for it that everyone remembers. I love your memories of it. I look forward to this year's trimming pictures.

  2. I agree with ginny, a really wonderful tradition. tell your hubby the new trees come with the lights already on them, just put it together and plug it in. it is the memories that count not the tree. enjoy your time with family and the tree

  3. How wonderful that the kids get to enjoy the process.
    I can see a whole new set of memories with an 18 month old. I hope you take pictures.

  4. I'm off today to get my little Christmas Tree. Your blog reminded me the clock is ticking. Dianne

  5. Besides the birth,that is what christmas is all about, memories and family cherish all of it. I'm going to let my grands decorate the tree on Friday after Thanksgiving. We'll have to compare notes, how long into the decorating before the tree comes tumbling down.

  6. I remember Christmas, 1980 when my first goddaughter was born. She was just 16 days old at Christmas and her parents put her under the tree in a basket; she was their gift to each other that year. This December she will be 31 and she is feeling mighty old. I just laugh and tell her to wait until she hits 63!

  7. Wow, you really got your money's worth out of that tree :) At least you didn't have to take the blow dryer to it, like I once did. LOL

    Make sure to take lots of pictures of that tree decorating--and share them!

  8. Can't believe it is nearly time to put up the tree. I haven't got myself organised yet.

  9. Memories....
    Isn't that what the Christmas time is all about?
    Of course its the birthday of our Savior but all the traditions of life make it so special.
    We don't have any little ones anymore but we still have fun and do the whole stocking and Santa bit. I would feel so sad if we didn't.
    Can't wait to see what the 18 month old thinks about your tree and all the wonderful chaos that goes with it.

  10. I am looking forward to going to fetch our shorty tree (around 3 feet, probably) since it's just the two of us for the holidays and we'll be traveling anyway.

    It's my extravagance, a ~$28 live tree for about 6 weeks because it smells good and makes it feel like Christmas at home. I suppose we'll get practical and do a plastic tree soon enough but I do so enjoy these first years with a real tree.