Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Trimming the Tree

On Sunday I did get the tree in the stand. I waited until John took Johnny to lacrosse so I could have full control and avoid arguments. I got to use the Sawz-all. ( Love those power tools.) Got the tree in the house and then lost all interest in going any further.



The kids kept asking if we were decorating the tree and I kept telling them maybe tomorrow. I kept thinking I would put the lights on when they were at school and then it would be ready to decorate when they got home. But when they came home it still had no lights on it. I so didn't feel like doing it.

Then I opened this box.



The Italian lights. Trains and elves. The elves used to be attached to a string of lights that is long since gone. These were the lights on the trees of my childhood (Plural for Christmas). I used to love to pose the little elves on the tree and imagine conversations they would have w/each other.



The trains are not working anymore and I don't have a clue how to fix them but I love to see them because it takes me back to those happy (Plural for Christmas).



I have one other decoration from my childhood. The Italian bells. I love to see them every year.


Before you know it I had the lights on the tree and was posing the elves on a brand new string of lights. Except for the girl who lost her head they all looked quite contented. The kids and I finished trimming the tree.



I even but some tinsel on the tree. I have NEVER done that. My father used to be obsessive about it. It would take hours just to put the tinsel on. It had to be put on one strand at a time. Pretty much it was just Dad and my brother Richard who had the patience for that. Though I seem to have inherited some of his obsessive traits this is not one thank goodness. Johnny wanted to throw it on but no, I could not go that far. That would be sacrilege. So I kind of put like 3 on at a time and not much of it. When I told the kids about how Pop used to do it Johnny said "Wow that must of looked really good." It did. It was the most beautiful tree every time.



(And so what is the plural for Christmas? The happy Christmas's of my past?
The happy Christmases?)

17 Comments:

Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

Awesome story!!!

Have not done tinsel in years, probably since I was a kid. I remember we would find tinsel all over the house for months after Christmas (and my mother was an obsessive house-cleaner).

The plural of Christmas would be Christmases. =)

12/19/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Bluegrrrrl- I should have asked you in the first place. I did try to look it up first teacher but I couldn't find it. Thanks for the help.

12/19/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely post Mary! You're a great writer (and photographer).

I still have a set of five molded candles from my 1950's childhood - 5 reindeer and Santa on a sleigh. They have never been lit of course.

Which are you in the photo?

12/19/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

What a lovely stroll through Christmas! I have some ornaments of my mom's from the 30s and 40s, and some from my childhood in the 50s/60s that I treasure (though they've not been out of their box in years) - but I haven't dragged them out and done a tree in several years - 4? 5? 6? I don't know...

but it was nice seeing /hearing your story.

12/19/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Gary- Front row, 1st on the left. The one giving you my profile.
That's a long time for candles. Good job on the safe-keeping.

Hayden- I think you will find the effort of putting a tree up worthwile. It definitely changed my 'tude.
I love the vintage decorations. So much character.

12/19/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great insight into your Christmases past, Mary!
I love going into Christmas shops and seeing all the old fashioned decorations, brought to the modern age but they have no sentimental compared to the ones you fish out of your vintage box once a year.

12/19/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Krissy Doyle said...

How about a picture of the finished product??? :)

Lovely story.

12/19/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger glenda said...

I,too,love the old and vintage lights, especially the bubble lights. Alas, none of mine work anymore.

12/19/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Yeah! I want to see how it turned out. How did you get it so nice and straight without guidance? Also, I might suffer quite a bit tonight thinking of the one who was not content as she lost her head. Been there. Done that.

12/19/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Cream- Yup. The oldies are the good ones.

Krissy- I'll post it I promise. I just wanted to put the freaking little village under it first. (oops there went my Christmas spirit.) I just finished it. Tedious.

Glenda- I bought some "new" bubble lights one year. I had alot of trouble w/them. But I did love them.

Peacechick- The secret to my straight tree is in the stand. It swivels and rotates and moves just a hair this way and a tilt that way. I love it. I would not even put a tree up w/o it. I think it was $40 a couple years ago (Lowes. Do they have them your way?) Worth every penny.

12/19/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

My father used to be obsessive about it. It would take hours just to put the tinsel on. It had to be put on one strand at a time.

My mother is exactly the opposite. She throws tinsel at the tree like it's flocking, until the tree is covered--a uniform silver sheen blocking one's view of the decorations. Uggghhhh!

12/19/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mary that was an awesome post. i love the elves and how you imagined them talking to each other. and i laughed out loud - quite loudly - at the poor little elf with no head :( The plural of Christmas...hmmmm.

GFM

12/19/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By that old Polaroid one might get the idea that you were raised in a Catholic home... :>O no he didn't!

12/19/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Dear Mary,
Ugh! I took your question more philosophically to mean what may be meant by a common theme or shared experience.

12/19/2006 11:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Kvatch- It's so funny that you say that. While I was putting it on my son suggested throwing it on that way and I said "Nooooooo. I knew families that did it that way and you'd go to their houses and their tree looked awful." Then my husband walked in and I asked if he liked the tinsel and he said "Yes but here's how my family put it on," and he proceeded to throw it on. When he left the room I turned to my son and daughter and said, "One of those families I was telling you about." Knowing looks all around.

Me- I wanted to put the headless elf on the tree. I mean no discrimination here. What am I gonna do put her in a box to sit out Christmas? My daughter wouldn't let me.

Poetryman- Oh yes he did! I love it when I get a comment that makes me laugh first thing in the morning. YOu win best comment!

Yoga- I can guarantee you that my questions will never be deep. But it would have been much more interesting your way.

12/20/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That story about posing the elves and the conversations made me laugh. I used to do the same thing and more.

When I was really young, we had these little elf ornaments in which the bodies were made of little pine cones. There were male and female ones. I used to have them dancing together and I would take each couple and put them on a branch and call that their "house". I would even arrange the lights so that their "homes" were lit just right.

Ahhh memories...

12/20/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Katie McKenna said...

I love elves.. and John Denver!

We ( my daughters and I ) used to blow on the tinsel... and giggle the whole time in between. ;)

12/23/2006 04:01:00 PM  

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