Friday, December 9, 2011

Advent Calander - Christmas Tree

   What would Christmas be without the tree?  We used to have a simple life in a simple house with simple decorations.  Then came the sixties.  I remember when I was a child that our trees were the envy of all my friends and kids in the neighborhood.  We used to have one down in the basement for us kids to decorate and one upstairs in the living room for my mother to dress. 

   Downstairs we had decorations made from school, sometimes popcorn strung around the tree, but almost always with tinsel.  Long, silvery tinsel that she would supervise us putting on so that each branch had many strands, but none of them touching each other and each one hanging from just one end so that it would be as long a strand as could hang without falling off. 

Oh Christmas Tree, how lovely are your branches........
   But this was not the tree that would bring the envy in their eyes.  No, it was the WHITE, FLOCKED TREE with coordinating bows and balls that would grace the living room upstairs on the main floor.  The one that would sit in front of the picture window so all who passed by could view it from outside.  One year it would be red, another royal blue and yet another that olive green that you found in kitchen coordinated colors from the 60's.  The balls were the satin kind that looked like spun thread and sparkled in the lights (only white on this tree).  And the bows were all handmade from Minnesota, Mining & Manufacturing (3M) ribbon, "Sasheen".  (We still prefer Sasheen ribbon today, even though they have discontinued making it for many years.  Love finding it at estate sales.  Makes the best bows.)

   But one year, sometime in the late 70's, a respected monsignor mentioned that "one shouldn't have to go find Christmas", it should be found everywhere and the forest of trees began to grow. It started with two trees, to a few artificial trees and a few small trees to many artificial trees and one live tree. Today we have trees in just about every room in the house. 

   There is the 11' tree in the "big room" with its red, velvet ribbon garland and red, shiny ornaments and other ornaments from around the world.  It stands majestically in front of the center window so that all who pass by can view it from outside.  (People still ask if I live in the house with the 'big tree'?) 

    There is the small, silver tree with white lights and antique ornaments from the 1950's in the dining room, as well as one that hangs on the wall with miniature ornaments and figures.  In the hall, one can view another small tree, lit with white lights and different birds and fruit and vegetable ornaments.

  In the parlor (we call it the old living room) there is the Victorian-style tree with its gold berry garland, white lights, silky white or soft pink balls, white poinsettia's and icicles hanging from every branch. It too stands in front of the living room windows for passersby to see.

   The bathroom sports a miniature tree with bows and birds and the downstairs bathroom used to have a white feather tree, until this year when newly married daughter took it home to her new place.

   And in front of downstairs windows stands the only living tree.  It is not unlike the trees from my childhood that stood in the basement.  It has the only colored lights, covered with ornaments from my children's elementary school years and those ornaments not "cool" enough to make the upstairs cut.  The only thing missing is the tinsel!

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