Monday, November 29, 2010

The Memory Tree

When I was a child, my mother would always drag home a real tree from a lot close to my home.  After my father passed away it became my job to decorate, I guess my mother just didn't have the heart to do it anymore.  I was twelve and my brother was eight, so I took on the role willingly, it made me feel very grown up.

(These old photos really look shabby next to the more recent 35mm and digital, wonder what future generations will say about our digital)
We gave her a lot of bathrobes!

We had those big circus colored lights ( although I always craved my aunts bubble lights) with lots of shiny ornaments and tinsel put on piece by piece (my mother used to actually trim the tinsel with a scissors so that it was all the same length, but this was before my father died).  I remember my father drilling holes in the balsam tree trunk to insert and tie branches to make it the perfect tree.

This was my aunt's bubble tree.  For some reason it looked a lot bigger and more impressive when I was a child.

This was the tree I had in my first house, check out that tinsel.

I used to bunch up the cotton under the tree and carefully lay out the nativity scene.  Some of the animals were either broken or missing but most of it was intact.

I had a real tree for many years as my children were growing up, and I always wondered why my son was so sick around the holidays.  He was allergic to the mold spores that grow on the trunks of the trees, so in comes the artificial tree.  I have had big ones, little ones and the one I have now which is in between.

This is the real tree at my old, old house, into the bows that year.

At my last house I kept the ribbon but gave up some of the bows.  My second Westie Duffy is hardly visible on the white rug.

This one is my Memory Tree, it has everything on it from my whole life, my children's creations, relatives creations, student gifts, my pets through the years, even the car key from our family Volkswagen that was handed down to my children and even my nephews.  It was so used we finally donated it to charity.

As I decorate it this year, it has become very special, my mother-in-law's handmade ceramic ornaments are put on very carefully, my little felt ornaments that I made before my children were born are still in great condition.  Too many to count ornaments from the many students I had throughout the years, some with their names on the back, some remembered because of either the uniqueness of the child or the ornament.

Ceramic ornaments made by my mother-in-law

Felt ornaments (there are twelve) that I made when I was first married

Many handmade angels from former students

My daughter's needlepoint when she was seven

I try to add a few trendy things each year, like my sparkling butterflies and fancy beads, but the star is pretty old fashioned, along with my vintage ornaments and those shiny ones from my childhood.  It will never look striking unless you get up close and personal with it!

Vintage ornaments and lots of Westies.  We have had three West Highland White Terriers through the years so there are may types of Westie ornaments on our tree.

Paddington and many storybook characters are on the tree.

Do you think Reggie will leave the teddies alone?

A gift from our realtor when we moved into my present home in 2003.

Have fun decorating, know matter how much or how little you do for the holidays, keep it personal!