Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21 - The Christmas Tree


My Christmas tree is 60 cm high, and is celebrating its 30th Christmas with me this year. Originally it came with the lights and twelve litte balls (six red, three silver, three gold - which are still all intact). I've added more decorations over the year as I've found things in the right size. I pack them all away carefully every year in January and always redecorate the tree anew in December. It's usually the last of my decorations to be put up - a few days (up to a week) before Christmas. 



The first ten years of my adult life I did not have a Christmas tree of my own at all. I always went home to my parents for Christmas anyway (and we did not live in the same town/area back then). Sometimes during Advent time I had a few branches of pine in a vase. 

My parents always had a full-sized Christmas tree. Back in my childhood it was not brought into the house until the day before Christmas Eve. There were very few changes in decorations over the years. Theirs were chiefly (besides the lights) plain glass baubles in different colours (later a set of plastic ones were added, because every now and then one of the fragile glass ones would get broken), and tinsel - and Swedish flags.

I also remember that the trees in my grandparents' houses were differently decorated. In my paternal grandparents' tree they had even more flags (not just Swedish ones but for all of the Nordic countries); and crackers made of thin tissue paper (which were never actually cracked open), and little gnomes (tomtar) made of red yarn (not knitted, just tied together).

And from my other grandfather's tree, I remember a different kind of tinsel, and the electic lights being covered with some fluffy stuff called angels' hair. 


This is a photo from my very first Christmas (1955); with me (4 months old) sitting on my paternal grandmother's lap - in front of her tree with all the flags.


And this is my grandmother and my dad, in 1931! (And then, in the tree, real candles - but unlit.)

14 comments:

  1. Really great old photos of you, and your tree looks really beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Mersad. I'm still quite happy with it, after all these years!

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    1. Thanks Janet. Yes, I do quite appreciate having the old photo albums to help confirm some of the memories that are otherwise just "in my head".

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  3. Very nice memories of times gone by! From the ornaments on your tree, I love the little snowman - his smile is infectious :-)

    I've never had a tree on my own because ever since moving out at the age of 21, all Christmasses were spent back home with my parents, sister and (while they were still alive) grandparents. Mum and Dad always have a tree, which usually my sister helps decorate. We insist on real candles, and that probably won't change if ever I'll start putting up my own tree.

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    1. Now you mention it, Meike, I recall having read about your tree with real candles on your blog before. I have to confess I'd never dare! :)

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  4. It's ten years or more since I last put up Christmas decorations although I did used to have my little santa and the trees that Catriona drew for me when she was younger. I still have them out but this year I've actually added a rather snazzy glass candle filled with water that lights up and sparkles.

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    1. I do remember your few select pieces of Christmas decorations from your NZ blog, Graham :) Now I'm just curious if you bought the new stylish candle yourself or if that too was a gift?

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    2. All my own idea Monica. I must have been feeling peculiar that day!

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    3. Ah, so the Christmas Spirit caught up with you at last! :) (You could probably sell the story to Hollywood for a Christmas movie: Mr Edwards' peculiar day.)

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    4. Not really Monica. In modern parlance I just thought that it was 'really cool'.

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  5. i like seeing the old photos, and i know they are precious memories for you. i don't remember either of my grandmothers having a tree. but mother had one from the day i was born in 44...she was the queen of Christmas..

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    1. Sandra, my mum put that old photo of my dad into my childhood photo album for comparison. It was probably my grandfather who took both photos.

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  6. Happy Christmas. I'm new to your blog today having come over from Librarian. I like your tree too. Here we would call it a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree with warmth and love in our hearts.

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