Sunday, November 30, 2014

ACCM - The Tree

Me (in my Brownie sweater) and my sisters with our dog, Scottie #2
We had an artificial tree when I was growing up. It sat on a platform my father built. He would put up the platform and then nail train tracks to it. There were little houses, trees, and fake snow in the little village on the platform too. After the platform and train set were up the tree was next.

The tree had individual branches the fit into the "trunk" and it was incredibly painful to put together. It took what seemed like forever to get up. Of course, "forever" was most likely only a few hours, but to a kid it was an eternity!

We put colored lights on the tree as well as garland and "icicles" made of tinsel. Our ornaments were old-fashioned glass balls with bright colors and white glitter. We also had some non-traditional ornaments that were given to us. My "Nana," Hazel Blum had made us each an egg-shaped ornament that she decoupaged little magazine clippings of things that we liked. Various toys, dolls, and Christmas-y items.

When I went to live with my mother she had a real tree. It was a novelty for me. A real live tree in the house! And after years of having fake the only thing I could think was that it didn't look "perfect" like a Christmas tree should! There were holes and gaps in the branches for goodness sake! Oh, but my mom could work wonders with the tree! The ornaments were hung and baby's breath was put on the branches to look like snow. It was gorgeous! The ornaments filled in those gaps and the tree looked perfect...and smelled wonderful! The ornaments were a mixture of balls and shaped items. It was eclectic...just the way I think it should be!

My tree-top angel. Just taken out of
storage for a photo for this post!
I know many people get obsessed about making sure their trees are perfect. They color coordinate the ribbon and the ornaments and everything is put in its proper place. These trees are quite beautiful, but they aren't me. The Christmas tree represents the family and is filled with things the family likes. We've got a great Grinch ornament for my hubby (it made a nice joke-present). We've got ceramic ornaments that I painted when I was first off on my own. We've got Disney ornaments too. Our tree is filled with everything from beautiful ornaments to cute ornaments that represent where we've been or what we like. Each year I buy my boys an ornament. It's become something of a tradition. I mark the ornament in an inconspicuous place with their name or initial. When they grow up and move out, they'll get to keep the ornaments they collected as the grew up.

Our tree is a pre-lit artificial one (the hubby is allergic to real ones), but it's nice to see that the fake trees look more realistic than they did when I was little. It gets put up each year on Thanksgiving weekend. It's the earliest my husband will permit it. I love sitting in one of my living room chairs with the tree lit, the fireplace on, and a cup of hot cocoa in my hand. We top our tree with an angel just like I did when I was younger. My first angel had lights in her hands. My current one has no lights. They're always the first thing to go and I'm tired of replacing my angel if the lights can't be fixed!

What about you? Do you put up a tree? Is it real or artificial? Multi-colored lights or one color? Angel or star?