Sunday, November 17, 2013

O' Tannebaum

Last night on Twitter, I was talking to my friends Deb and Skip about Christmas trees ( hey Deb, hey Skip) and lamenting that my living room this year is very small. That means I will have to get a small tree since my other tree is just too big for this house. Skip said, '' you could always go minimalist.'' to which I answered, ''I cannot, repeat cannot go minimalist'' he said, '' you may reassess when the kids get older.''

No, that will never happen and I told him that I would explain why. So I am going to share why, I was raised in a family where the Christmas tree is a revered, most sacred object! My Grandma was of German descent so ornaments were precious treasures and a certain kind will only do.

My favorite family Christmas picture

I remember after Thanksgiving, on the weekends Grandma would start her hunt for the perfect tree. I loved going with her and Grandpa to look for a tree. She would make him hold up the tree and spin it around, it had to be a Noble fir with no holes and just right. We would go from lot to lot to lot to lot looking for the perfect tree. One year, in the midst of her search, I found a Charlie Brown tree and begged to have it. She bought it for me and let me decorate it with candy. I named it ''Spunk'' because it was a spunky little tree.

In our house,we would get the same kind of tree and decorate it with our precious ornaments. I always remember thinking that my Aunt Nette didn't have the right kind of tree ever since she bought Shasta firs and they were bushy.

Yes, I am a Christmas tree snob from a long line of Christmas tree snobs.

We love blown glass ornaments, brightly colored glass balls and crystal ornaments. My aunts all have beautiful large trees with beautiful ornaments. My cousins Rissa and Sarah have beautiful trees, we love a good Christmas ornament and tree.

Then I met Marty, his family had a three foot tree they sat on a table. I couldn't imagine such a thing!! It was cute but..........a tree must be at least six feet tall!

The next year when I lived with his family, I was sure to remedy that! We had a giant seven foot tree with the full aray of the Timms family ornaments on display. It was the last Christmas his family had together and really special.

I remember the first time Marty went looking for trees with me. He wanted to send me back where I came from! He didn't think holding up trees was fun at all! He didn't see why we couldn't get a little spunky tree that fit on a table.

However, the next year he did buy me some really cute ornaments that I still hang on the tree to this day. Now that is a big deal because I am an ornament snob too. You know that scene in ''A Christmas Story'' where the husband accuses the wife of breaking the Leg Lamp. Marty accuses me of breaking an ornament that he loved and had since he was little. I just put his ornaments on the back of the tree.

Then there is the issue with the kids, they have given up trying to decorate the tree. They know that I will just move the ornaments when they go to bed. I have tried to stop that behavior and did pretty good last year with not moving them back.

My tree is special, it has ornaments from Marty's family, our family, some of my grandparents ornaments that my Dad gave me that were his growing up, my kids ornaments and our family ornaments. It doesn't have a theme, I don't put a fancy ribbon, garland or bows on my tree. It is just special ornaments from special times gone by.

I like them dripping with ornaments. Tree 2010

The blown glass pickle just like Grandma had that is hidden in the tree on Christmas day. The family then hunts for the pickle and whoever wins gets candy and good luck for the year. It is my favorite ornament to give away.

Eventually Grandma did get an artificial tree

The Gold Standard of Christmas trees. My Grandma's last tree and last Christmas. I love that I took this picture and have it to look at

My favorite ornaments are spun glass icicles that I inherited from Marty's grandma. They are the last thing I put on the tree and some dear friends have given me more over the years. I love looking at all the ornaments and will sit for hours doing just that during the holidays. Right now, I am in a panic, I fear opening my ornament bins because surely some have broken in the move. I cannot bear the thought of which ones those might be.

I did let Marty have a little table tree one year. Conner 1999

Did I mention I am banned from buying ornaments? the kids get a new one each year but I cannot.( of course, if people GIVE me ornaments, I cannot turn them down) I have too many and need a bigger tree or five. During my conversation with Skip and Deb, I mentioned that when we buy our house next year, I am solely looking for a living room big enough to have a twelve foot tree. They thought I was joking, I was not...dead serious.

Today I was dreaming of this tree in Costco. It looks like a Noble fir and the lights can go clear or colored. My dream come true! I will have this tree someday
Really I love the tree because it was something instilled in me from a young age. Christmas meant spending time with family, eating good food, being together and being happy. Who wouldn't want to relive those memories again and again? and make new memories to go along with those.

So there you have it Skip, the story behind why I will never downsize my tree. It's tradition to love the tree and obsess over it.

My Grandma called Conner moon face because of this favorite ornament of her's. I bought Conner his own above.

( we go back and forth between real and artificial trees. This year will be real, artificial is preferred because they hold more weight)