Wednesday, November 28, 2012
O Christmas Tree
I always enjoy seeing magazine spreads on Christmas decorating. It's so fun to get new ideas, and once in a while, I see something that I can actually use. For our family, though, Christmas is steeped in traditions and memories that rarely change. We use an artificial tree in our home -- asthma, allergies, and other concerns make it a necessity for us. This one is particularly special to me because it's the one that my husband and I used at our December wedding reception seven years ago.
Over a decade ago, before Etsy mania took hold, my mother managed a small shop called Nana's Attic which sold handmade goods from all over the country. After my father became a pastor and she closed down the business, we saved some of our favorite holiday pieces including this Christmas tree skirt. The braided rag rug is actually a series of four upside down hearts sewn together to make a perfect circle.
These little dolls, also from the shop, are such a sweet decoration. My girls love them, and I think they look so cute on the tree.
As I've mentioned before, my mother is brilliant with cross stitch. This angel is one of several of her creations that we put on the tree each year. The little plastic apple was a Christmas gift from my sixth grade teacher, Ms. Bode. She was a tough teacher, but I respected her greatly. After she retired and I became a teacher myself, she gave her entire stash of bulletin board and teaching aides to me. Just a short while later, she passed away from a number of health issues, leaving behind no husband or children. I've always felt that it was important that someone remember her, and placing this little apple on my tree each year is my small way of doing that.
We have some fun little vintage treasures like this one. I don't know the history of every one, but they've become a part of the family collection over the years.
The angel at the top of the tree is one more find from Nana's Attic. I love putting it on top of that wreath of berries for a little extra color.
But the biggest Christmas tree tradition in our family is the bow at the top of the tree. My parents got engaged thirty-seven years ago this December. That year my mom told her mother that all she wanted for Christmas was my dad. So on Christmas morning when my dad came to visit, my grandmother tied this red bow and pinned it to my dad's collar before sending him over to see my mom. It's been at the top of our Christmas tree every year since. The creche always hangs below it to remind us Who should be at the center of the celebration.
I love this tree. I love everything it represents and all the people that it brings to mind. It may not be the flashiest or the most creative tree on the block, but there's love on every branch.
I wouldn't have it any other way.