Does Your Christmas Tree Have a Past?

  1. So I was a little late in unpacking all the ornaments for this years Christmas tree and getting the Christmas tree up, but we did it tonight.

    As we decorated the tree, I realized that all of my past fifteen Christmases in the United States have been represented with different ornaments. There are some that have survived from my first Christmas in 1999 where I hastily tried to buy enough ornaments from the Kmart in Boulder that would cover an entire tree. Some of those were $5.99 for twelve. Though those ornaments aren't very awe inspiring, they remind me of that time. Of having very little and having to shop wisely. The Kmart in Boulder is no longer there.

    I also have a keepsake ornament from 1999 given by the wife of my ex husbands cousin. She has become a very dear friend despite my ex husband and I divorcing. She was very intuned to my mindset at the time as she came to the United States sometime in the 1970's from Australia. She knew at the time it was hard for me coming from the United Kingdom to a foreign land that, though the folks spoke English was still very foreign to me.

    I have a clay dove that was baked in an elementary school kiln with my daughters name and the date inscribed on the back; Lucy 12-04-2000 which was the date she made it. I also have a metallic strawberry painted red and green from the same elementary school and from the same era though it is undated. My daughter and I argued whether it was first or second grade when she made that. Obviously she is right, she made it.

    Come Christmas 2004 and the ornaments get more expensive. I had passed my NCLEX and had money to burn.

    I have two memorial ornaments from dear friends who married in 2006. They are still together and had their first child last July.

    Fast forward to 2008 and I have ornaments from Germany, land of the Christmas Tree Itself! It is certainly true that the Christmas Tree in modern times was introduced to the United Kingdom from Germany and that the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert cemented the tradition in the UK in Victorian England. I bought those on a trip back in 2008 and they have proven to be both beautiful and indestructible.

    My own Christmas tree growing up. We had baubles that were pillowy cotton in appearance tied with green and red bows. My mother once asked my father "Why do you still put those up?" Those pillowy cotton baubles were made during WWII by my English Grandmother and great aunt. There are also two black tabby cats sewn with orange thread to make the fishbone tabby markings. They are a pair, only around four inches long. Those were made with black out curtain used in England from the second world war. I can understand why my father still puts those up. It's not what they look like, it's the history and the memories. I'd really like those ornaments too some day.

    I also hang tree chocolates from my tree. I get them from World Market and they come from a German chocolate maker but in the UK Cadburys used to make brightly colored foil wrapped tree "ornaments". And they were jolly nice, but can't find them here.

    Anyway, I'd imagine that my Christmas tree is only unique and interesting to me, what is yours like?
    Last edit by StNeotser on Dec 1, '13
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Thank you for starting this thread!

    All of my ornaments have special meanings, too. I have ancient ones from my own childhood and lots of ornaments from my kids' childhoods (they always go "Mom, why do you put those ugly things up every year?"). There is the First Christmas Together 1980 ornament. Baby ornaments for each of the kids and grandkids. And ornaments for each year....even the bad ones like 2012.

    Yes, my Christmas tree is literally a tree of memories. And that's just the way I like it.
  4. by   bell1962
    Mine have special meaning too. I have a couple from when I was young,many that my kids have made over the years, and others that relate to different times in my life. I have one for each year that we've been married ( 28 now!) and I've bought my kids an ornament for each year since their births.(26,23, and19 yrs old). That is alot of ornaments! Looks mismatched and cluttered to others probably, but I wouldn't have it any other way!