Christmas trees are quintessentially Christmas! Reminisce with me and get lots of ideas and tips for decorating your Christmas tree.
I love almost everything about Christmas trees! I love them in almost any size or shape and no matter what they are made of! I even collect Christmas trees! Big, tall, small, skinny, rotund, silver, white, green, and more! Today I’m reminiscing about spectacular Christmas trees!
I have a HUGE love for Christmas trees. No wonder! Many of my best Christmas memories revolve around them!
And speaking about revolving…
MY FIRST CHRISTMAS TREES
Growing up our family had its share of Christmas trees. I remember when I was very very young our family had a silver aluminum tinsel-like tree on a stand that revolved. It had a lighted “color wheel” that beamed out different colored lights that reflected off the shiny branches of the tree. Red, blue, green, and yellow as I recall.
And yes, that was a l-o-n-g time ago! Raise your hand if you can remember these shiny trees? I hear you giggling!
I was eight when my Daddy was deployed (Air Force) to Japan. So we lived with my grandmother that Christmas. My Nani had a real tree. We put shiny bright ornaments on it. The same ones my mother had also put on the trees of her childhood.
And Nani had tinsel!
Nani’s tinsel was, to me, like fairy dust or the stars unicorns shoot out of their horns.
Nani saved her tinsel from year to year like she saved everything else, so it must have been decades old!
It was sort of crinkly and metallic and so pretty. This tinsel had a bit of heft to it too. It was my favorite thing to put on the tree!
I wish I had that tinsel today!
On Nani’s tree, there were strings of lights with big colorful bulbs! As a child, I used to think the colorful Christmas tree looked so happy!
As I was growing up we had a long string of real trees. And we had tinsel too!
But this tinsel was more like silver plastic. You could actually stretch it. I LOVED throwing handfuls of it at the tree, but Mom was a tree decorating perfectionist so we could only put tinsel on the tree one strand at a time.
We had the prettiest trees growing up! My mother could (and still can) decorate a beautiful tree.
A DIFFERENT VIEW OF A TREE
One of my favorite Christmas things to do was to lie on the floor and stick my head under the tree. Oh, the beauty of all those little colored lights. I bet you did not know that trees look especially pretty when looking up their trunks!
When I dated Bobby I helped him decorate a tree in his apartment. I discovered how fun it was to decorate a tree with someone you are in love with!
That tree taught me a few things.
Do you know that if you leave a tree up long enough all the needles will fall off in a perfect circle around the bare frame of the tree? A perfect circle!
I also discovered that Bobby can totally ignore anything he does not want to deal with!
The week after Easter that year I told Bobby that his tree was a major fire hazard and I would not be dating him any longer. At least not until he got rid of the tree.
He immediately threw the tree out of the window of his third-story apartment building. I found that shocking and a bit romantic! LOL!
The first year Bobby and I were married we chopped down a tree and it was so huge that we could not fit it into the living room. So we sawed off the bottom of the tree and moved all the furniture out of our dining room to make room for it.
Funny, it did not look that big in the field at the Christmas tree farm!
I made a lot of garlands and wreaths that year as I channeled Martha Stewart.
OUR FAMILY TREES
And every year until our children moved out of the house and were married we chopped down our Christmas trees together. Oh, what memories we made!
My favorite years were when it snowed while we chopped down the tree. It was so magical we could have been in a Hallmark movie!
When our children were little only the bottom third of the tree would be decorated! They were not big enough to reach any higher. I loved seeing their handiwork so much we left the top of the tree bare!
One Christmas I was semi lamenting to Bobby that although I loved the tree our children decorated there was a place in me that longed for a “designer tree”.
So, one day Bobby came home with a gorgeous fake tree for me to decorate.
Oh, how I loved decorating that tree. Every year we would have a family tree and one decorated by me.
You know when I think about our Christmases it’s not my designer tree I think about. It’s always our sweet family tree filled with meaningful ornaments we collected. And the best tree of all was the tree that was bare at the top!
One year our cat climbed up in the tree and knocked it clean over. It went crashing down along with the cat and ornaments went flying everywhere!
I LOVED the look on our children’s faces as they saw our Christmas tree sprawled all over our family room floor. Priceless! Isn’t it funny how small tragedies eventually become humorous family stories?
THE GINGERBREAD MAN TREE
Then there were about 15 years I had a skinny tree just off our kitchen in our breakfast nook. I loved to decorate it with cookies and other foodstuffs. Dried oranges are so on-trend right now. I guess I was way ahead of the trend. I had them on my skinny tree!
My favorite ornaments for this tree were big homemade gingerbread men that I accented with white puffy paint. So much easier than royal icing since we were not going to eat them.
I tied them to the tree with red and white striped ribbons.
Each Christmas I hung up “my boys”.
One Christmas I noticed that a leg had fallen off one of the gingerbread men. Unusual because they were rock hard!
A few days later a couple of the boys were missing limbs. A leg here and an arm there. And one of the gingerbread men was missing the lower half of his body.
I gathered my kids and my sister’s child Kelley together and asked them if they had been snacking on the gingerbread men. Everyone said, “not me”! And I reminded them that the boys had been puffy painted so they were not for human consumption!
Upon a closer look, I noticed my boys were losing lots of their limbs. And to my dismay, a few in the back of the tree had disappeared altogether.
It was only by chance that later that day I caught the culprit.
My sister’s dog Max, would ever so casually walk by the tree and snatch a snack! He was as cool as a cucumber!
Dear old Max had been terrorizing the gingerbread men and had even helped himself to more than a few.
Max was such a gentleman and a super well-behaved dog we never suspected him. You know it’s the mild manner ones you have to watch out for!
FULL CIRCLE TREE
The first year the children were not home to chop down our tree because they were starting their own traditions in their own homes we decided to continue the Christmas tree tradition without the kids. After all, it was originally just the two of us!
So we chopped down our tree and brought it home. Bobby put the tree in the stand and then put the lights on the tree and our home smelled just like Christmas.
I brought up the boxes of decorations from the basement. We put on Christmas music and had nibbles and a holiday libation just like we did every year since our first married Christmas.
I opened a box of ornaments ready to decorate the tree and the first ornament I picked up was Christopher’s “babies first Christmas”.
Bobby and I looked at each other and started to cry. Actually, it became ugly crying. So we put the ornament back in the box and we sat on the sofa and had a good cry in each other’s arms.
That year our tree was decorated with lights only!
And in the last 12 years, since I’ve been blogging, we have had a different tree every year.
TREES OVER THE YEARS
Our trees have been traditional like this year’s tree…
Or sassy and fun like this one…
Or a white like this one…
Or a tabletop tree like this one…
Or inspired by nature like this one…
Or quintessentially Christmas like this one…
Or heavily flocked and filled with lots of white, gold, and silver like this one…
Or a little tree in our bedroom…
Or a tree bedecked with ribbon like this one…
And there have been so many more! I’ve probably decorated well over 100 Christmas trees in my lifetime!
Me and Christmas trees have a long and wonderful history together. I look forward to their reappearance every year!
I have so many other Christmas stories about trees I bet they could fill a book. Hmmm, maybe they will!
WHAT ARE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE MEMORIES?
And I bet you have a memory or story that revolves around a Christmas tree too. We would love you to share your story in the comments below!
FAQs ABOUT CHRISTMAS TREES
Hugs and Blessings,