Wednesday, January 11, 2017


This year as I was decorating our Christmas tree, I was a little more sentimental than usual. I got to thinking about the ornaments and how they came about being on our tree. 

I grew up with mostly real Christmas trees, but my parents and I even had the aluminium tree with the revolving light. We lived in a small rural community and didn't have tree lots. We found a live tree and my daddy cut it down. The needles, if it were a pine tree, made a mess the closer it got to Christmas, but probably not any more of a mess than the icicles did that we always had on the tree. I miss those.

Not sure why when my husband and I celebrated our first Christmas together that I wanted only ornaments on the tree that I had made. The only ornaments that I remember on our first little tree were three wise men that I made from felt, sequins, and decorative tape. I tried to make the camels, but I remember that their legs were so narrow, I just couldn't stuff them with cotton and then hand stitch them together with an overlapping stitch. They never got finished. I need to find a picture of our first Christmas tree. I am sure I have one. I remember a picture of our first Thanksgiving turkey and our new puppy, Nikki, that I was holding. That will serve as evidence of that first Christmas tree. I am curious to see if the oldest ornament that I have was on that tree. It was made by one of my students the first year I taught school (Christmas, 1969). I don't remember his name but remember that he was a cub scout.

Here are the three wise men I made. The green robed one on the right suffered some damage several years ago when one of our pets pulled it off the tree. I need to repair it, but never have. I always make sure the other two are hung high on the tree now.

Other ornaments that may not have been on that first tree but might have been were two "bells" from our wedding cake. They have really aged and so this year when I found two more in a drawer, I added them to the tree.

The next ornaments to be added to our tree were these - Santa's boot and a "liberty" bell. I first made a bowl of fruit with this method. The Styrofoam shape was completely cover with a straight pin, a bead, and a sequin. Labor intensive work. 

Later ornaments I made depended on what craft was popular at the time. In this picture you can see what variety that was...

The stuffed decorated felt ones (candy cane, stocking, tree, and drum) are probably the oldest one here; made during those first years we were married. The clothespin solders with a pompom on their "heads" were made by my mother and me early on. Counted cross stitch was something I did a lot in the early 80s. The framed NOEL ornaments says that Mother and I made it. My guess is she started it and I finished it for her. I don't really remember it. I think the Disney characters were made last. (Since Grandson Tyler loves Mickey Mouse, he especially likes those when he sees them on the tree.)

These little "manger" scene ornaments were made when we lived in CA.  I think we made them at church at an Advent Night gathering. They are so pretty. Made with 2 Christmas cards and flat toothpicks, they have a picture on each side of the ornament. It is a great thing to make with your children using old Christmas cards.

There are a number of decorations that my mother and my Auntie crocheted and gave me. I have enough of the snowflakes Mother crocheted and the medallions of two different sizes to totally decorate a tree. I have never done that. Next year I should have a smaller tree and just decorate it with them.

Mother also crocheted some beautiful individual ornaments that I really love and always include them on the tree.

These angels Mother made using a cotton boll are very special to me. She made them and sent them to me when we lived in CA. I usually put one on the tree and then I have another small tree that I place on a table that only has them on it. Here are two of them...

After Mother and Daddy both died, I took most of their ornaments (except glass ball ornaments) and added them to ours. At about the same time, I gave to each of my sons, ornaments that I had made or gotten for them each year. I didn't really realize until this year how many of Mother and Daddy's ornaments I had on our tree. It took two pictures to show them all. A lot of them are wooden. She painted the wooden angel and made the beaded ornament. I had three of those similar and gave one to each of our sons, her grandsons, and kept the other third one.

She made the candy cane stockings and the  two elephants and snowman. I assume she made the beaded angel.

There are three wooden ornaments that she and I painted together. This is one of them...

There are a number of beautiful shell ornaments that we bought when we lived in CA. The largest "star" is always at the top of the tree. (I used to have a crocheted angel that Mother made and gave us on top but the thread yellowed after a few years and I discarded her.)

Our tree wouldn't be complete without ornaments that students gave me over the years. Some I got in gift exchanges also.

I always enjoy placing the personalized ornaments for us. It isn't always easy finding the grandkids names, (Colby and Hallie are really hard to find). I think this year though I will look for personalized ornaments for them all to add to the tree next year.

The birds on the left of the above picture are favorites of my husband. I am not sure where we got them; I just remember how he always made sure they were on the tree early on. They are kinda cute on the tree.

Not sure when we got each of these. Jeffrey always liked Bert (and Ernie) when he was little. We got the Energizer Bunny when he was a fad. Not sure about the story with Snoopy.

I think a student made this beaded star and gave me but I don't really remember.

I made this post for my sons and their wives so they would have a record to turn to if they wondered about any of the ornaments (after we are gone), but if you stopped by to read the post, I hope you enjoyed seeing our Christmas tree. The one thing I never did was take a picture of the whole tree. I tried but never could get one that showed the tree and the ornaments well. Next year..... 

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