Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Sentimental Christmas Tree

I love Christmas trees and I admire all of the nicely decorated ones in magazines. Wouldn't it be fun to have a blue-themed tree one year and a silver and gold the next? Glass ornaments and silver ribbons would NEVER have worked in my house, with my kids and dogs. I love decorating our non-fancy sentimental Christmas tree and every year when we unwrap the ornaments and pull them out of the boxes it's a little like getting a pre-Christmas gift. We have a multitude of cute ornaments and throughout the rest of the year I forget some of them and then am always surprised and happy to see them again. You can almost read our little family history here -


Ornaments made by friends bring back special memories. The other one was from my son's first year at preschool. The teacher helped the kids write whatever they wanted on an ornament - "I love my Mom" - Awwww.


An English cottage to remember the time I went to England.


Of course a few Barbie ornaments to remind me of all of those special "Barbie" Christmases growing up.






Another one made by a friend. And of course a doggy dish.


My daughter's penchant for shoes . . .  (Shhhh - don't tell - there's actually a real pair of red ones under the tree as we speak . . . )



Remembering the years my son and daughter played sports . . .


The year my son was into dinosaurs . . .


The Christmas after Sept 11 . . . Also the year we got one of our pups after losing one.


A little log cabin for the year Prairie Children & Their Quilts was published . . . (Thanks, Ingrid!)



My husband made this snowflake ornament himself from paper using a technique known as "quilling."

Quilling was a popular art form a few years ago that involved rolling tiny strips of paper into filigree shapes. It was a hobby of his mother's (and his father too) and here's a not-very-well-known fact for you. In the 1970s my mother-in-law Doris Tracy and her business partner started a craft business selling Christmas tree ornaments and kits to make them and then in 1974 went on to publish a book about quilling - Quilling: Paper Art for Everyone. I still see it online and on some paper quilling sites. This was waaay before I met him and we both find it amusing that his mother authored a book on QUILLING and the woman he eventually married went on to author 4 books on QUILTING. Doris passed away 3 years ago but her legacy resides on our tree every year, along with a whole lot of other special Christimas memories. Every ornament tells a story.

11 comments:

  1. My tree must look a lot like yours - all special remembrances of peoples, places and times. I do think about the cool themed trees, but the funky stuff (many handmade or not really ornaments at all) always wins out. It's what makes our tree special - I mean, who else has a toy blender and an African Wild Hunting Dog hanging between the crocheted snowflakes??? Merry Christmas!

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  2. Wonderful decorations, miss putting mine out, but kitties are too destructive. I just use the soft ones and little trees. Your husband did a beautiful job on his ornament, I have never tried that.

    Debbie

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  3. I would much prefer a unmatching decorated tree with the ornaments I made myself and now that my kids are starting to make. DS2 (3yrs) came home yesterday with a paper angel very roughly coloured in, perfect for the top of the tree, brought tears to my eyes. Also made me realise that in my hurry I hadnt made the kids a decoration yet this year - a tradition I am determined to do, so that one day when they grow up and move out they will have their own ready made collection of decorations. Matching fashionable decorated trees do not provide happy memories of people, places and time spent together and what is Christmas if it is not about love, hope and joy. One year I made quilled Christmas cards, I had completely forgot until I saw your DH decoration - what a lovely thought to have something DH made on the tree, not to many lucky ladies get to say that! Not to mention how appreciative that makes him of your craft, lucky you. Thank you, I think I know what I am going to make this year now...a change from fabric and felt! Happy quilting Sue SA

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  4. What fun it is to unwrap wonderful decorations I mremember some of my son's ornaments they made in school they are still wrapped and tuck away in a box. I often thought that I would like to try my hand at quilling but never did. Your tree is beautiful Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

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  5. Oh this brought back such fond memories for me. When I was a kid, we were so poor that we made all of our ornaments each year. We'd sit at the kitchen table and use my mother's straight pins from her sewing basket to add ribbon and such things to Styrofoam balls. Those were our ornaments. We also used glue and lots of glitter to make things sparkle with the lights of the tree. Good times and good memories.
    Thanks for bringing it all back for me :)

    Merry Christmas,
    Sue

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  6. Thankyou for sharing all your lovely Christmas tree decorations! I love the decoration your husband made, what a fascinating artform, beautiful and delicate work!!!!

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  7. When my daughter got married, and I moved to Hawai'i for a while, I gave her all the family ornaments. I only saved a few for myself. I knew I would not be getting a tree in Hawai'i because they are so expensive. All those ornaments have a wonderful story and memory. Now I am back in the Northwest, and I have new ornaments that were given to me by my students in Hawai'i, and I get to see all the old ones on my daughter's tree. I think I will make some for each of the trees as a memory for this year.

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  8. Your ornaments are great and the memories even greater. I love unwrapping them every year like you do. This year I will have a stylized tree because my 4 year old grandson is coming and last year he was sent to "time out" more than he was 'in' for touching my Christmas decorations (I didn't care but the parents did). So this year I have put all red sturdy glass balls on the tree with little red and cream plaid bows tied on and made candy canes from red/white pipe cleaners and aged them to match the ribbon. It looks pretty and next year when I open up all my special ornaments that remain packed away this year they will seem like new.

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  9. Our tree looks like yours. This year it was extra special because our young granddaughters were with us for the first time to decorate it. They loved seeing all the decorations that their daddy had made when he was a little boy and they each picked out some to take home for their tree. I have a friend who does beautiful quilling and sells at craft fairs locally.

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  10. Love your tree. I can't imagine having a theme tree, mine is much like yours, the ornaments are from all over and some are from childhood. It is special for us.

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