Monday, December 3, 2007

"Christ"mas Tree Memories.....

"I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:10-11

Holiday greetings to all you out in Blog Land! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at the Quill. I spent Saturday doing all the outdoor decor, we set up the tree late yesterday afternoon, and Kenny G. and I have had a high old time decorating. Well actually, I decorated while he serenaded me with my holiday favorites.

Christmas at the Quill is quite different this year, for starters we now have a little inside dog who thinks anything below the door knobs belongs to her and is fair game for her chewing pleasure and gorgeous grandson is mobile and also thinks anything worth exploring below door knob height is also his to touch and taste! So to solve our tree trouble we decided to use the artificial tree this year. We only used the top two sections to shorten it and put it up on an old trunk. (See, Vee, I told you I was going to steal this idea!) We also chose to use only ornaments that are totally touchable so that little hands can explore without being scolded. I dug around in storage and decided it would be a Country Christmas at the Quill. All the ornaments I chose are handmade of either wood or fabric. I loaded the tree with little boy delights like Santa's, snowmen, gingerbread men, candy canes, stockings, plus a variety of others. I did use a few glass balls in the depth of the tree for sparkle and shine but only higher up and I could not resist using my favorite and most treasured ornaments. I put them up high in places of honor. I got a little weepy as I unwrapped them, here they are.....

These were fashioned by the hands of my children when they were small and are more precious to me than the silver or gold. This reminded me of a Christmas piece I wrote a couple of years ago. I share with you my "Christ"mas Tree Memories.....
Many legends surround the origin of the Christmas tree, from pagan customs to Christian lore. The Christmas tree tradition first became popular in Germany in the sixteenth century, then, popularity spread to European countries. In 1841 Prince Albert and Queen Victoria decorated the first English Christmas tree at Windsor Castle. The first record of a Christmas tree on public display in the United States was in the 1830's. By the 1890's the Christmas tree custom was becoming popular around the United States. For many, putting up a tree marks the beginning of the Christmas season.
Christmas tree decorations come in a variety of forms and fashions each year. In the beginnings of tree decoration, evergreens were adorned simply with candles. Eventually a variety of sweets, fruits, and gingerbread became fashionable as added adornment. Then tree decor progressed to an actual place to hang or hide gifts such as dolls, miniature furniture, tiny musical instruments, costume jewelry, toy soldiers, as well as candy and fruit. German glass ornaments began to make an appearance in the 1890's.

Many early Americans decorated their trees primarily with homemade ornaments such as apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies in a variety of delightful shapes as well as popcorn strung with berries. The invention of the electric bulb in the early twentieth century made it possible and far less dangerous for Christmas trees to glow with light for days on end. Today we find trees of every shape, size, and texture, from real to man made. The variety of ornaments readily available and ways to trim a tree are endless. Themed trees are popular from simple homespun creations to crystal and hand blown glass opulence.
I've often looked at magazines at perfectly appointed, color coordinated trees or seen them in store displays and admired them from afar. I have wondered how one would look in my home and if I chose one, which theme and color scheme would I pick? (Maybe the one below?)I once had a neighbor who had a tree like that. She went to a popular home and craft store and bought the entire display tree, lights, ornaments, and all. She had all the ornaments wired to the tree. She kept it in a tree bag in her garage. When Christmas time came around, out came the tree. It was uncovered, plugged in and ready to go in mere minutes. For my busy neighbor, who did not enjoy decorating a tree, this was perfect. For some, a tiny table top tree with miniature adornments may be perfect. Others may delight in the tree farm tradition of cutting their own tree, while others may prefer an artificial tree. For our family, our memory tree is perfect. It is not color coordinated or perfectly appointed, but it does have a theme: love. Over the years our Christmas tree tradition has varied from large to small, real to artificial, ornaments have been subtracted and added, but one thing has remained the same, the theme of love. After all, the theme of Christmas is love. Love came down over two thousand years ago in the form of God's only begotten Son, the baby Jesus.

So many memories on the tree

Sitting here looking, the past I see

Childhood memories of days gone by

Friends that have blessed me by and by

Craft Show days and times of toil

My children's handiwork, treasures royal

My time of courtship, laughter, and fun

Oh how the memories 'round me run

My treasured ornaments are priceless to me

Others may wonder why they hang on my tree

A gingerbread man poorly cut and drawn

By four year old hands of our precious son

Bits of string stiffened by glitter and glue, a macaroni snowflake,

A red painted pine cone make my heart ache

For my daughter when she was small

Oh, the wonderful memory of them all

Friends have contributed to my holiday fare

And over the years I've made my share

Extended family have added their touch too

For me trimming the tree is something I love to do

As I sat and looked at my tree one morning

All of its lights and simple adorning

My eyes traveled up to the very tip top

And there perched a scene that made them stop

An ornament made by some unknown hand

Snipped and curled from a simple tin can

Pasted to the center is an old Christmas card scene

Of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus, our King

No matter the variety of tree or decor you choose

It is the real theme of love that we must never loose

"When Love Came Down At Christmas Time" our church choir did sing

What sacrificial love did that little baby, Jesus, bring

No matter the shape or variety of tree

No matter the style or adornments there be

Let us live and love in perfect harmony with our fellow man

Let our aim be to please Jesus as much as we can

No matter the shape, no matter the size

No matter which ornament that you prize

Just remember Jesus' Love, our hearts decor

Which supplies forgiveness, peace, grace, and joy ever more

So next year when choosing and trimming your tree

Let His love wash over you afresh and anew, for no greater love there be

Than He who lays His life down for His friend

That is a depth of love without end

Wonder of wonders fills my heart

Baby Jesus, the greatest treasure Thou art

Come as a babe from the presence of God and heaven

To act on our behalf as our leaven

A peace offering, to die and rise again

Making a way for the pardon of sin

As I look at my tree, each ornament and ball

The baby, Jesus, is the sweetest remembrance of all!

Christmas Blessings,

Miss Sandy


Bejeweled said...

What a wonderful history of the Christmas tree!

I love how the theme of your tree is love. And doesn't it look beautiful!!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Ohhh, your tree is beyond beautiful. You really are a tenderhearted mom to decorate with those treasures your children made in childhood. I still have all of mine, too, and I take them out and look at them every year. I do NOT place them on the tree, however. LOL!

Funny story. A few years ago, my niece was helping me with the tree and as I was reviewing my treasures she noticed something that I never had. My son had created a little manger scene...very sweet except for one little item. He had glued a plastic rat to Baby Jesus's head! We all had a chuckle over that one. (He's not sure why he did it...just seemed right to him at the time. LOL!)

Thanks for your sweet comments today. English teacher...hate to confess it the way that I write. When teaching the early grades, I taught the full curriculum. At the high school and college level, I taught English courses. Thanks for asking!

Have a lovely evening!

Sand Flat Farm said...

Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement about my little yellow cottage, Sandy. I must say you have quite a way with the "quill". What a precious poem. I love your Christmas tree - it's exactly like mine! Full of memories. Who cares if it's color coordinated or not! Love your site! Vickie

Catherine Holman said...

I still say that reading your blog is the perfect start to the day! How beautiful!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

The perfect tree! Much like ours, filled with both old,handmade and funny ornaments, all with sweet memories attached.
xo Lidy

tongue in cheek said...

A tree that blooms love!

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