O’ Christmas Tree!

Christmas season is upon us! Every year I vow to make it simpler, put up fewer decorations and lights (do nothing, David says). How about we get rid of stuff this year? Downsize the tree? I’m loving those new pencil shaped pre-lit artificial trees that will fit in any corner. Just put it up, slap a few bulbs on it, and be done!

But no. We always get a live tree, usually an 8-footer, and that’s what we did again this year. It about breaks David’s back hauling it into the house (thank you, honey) and it drops about 3000 needles just putting it up. This year I was going to replace the glittery garland, but I didn’t. We have glitter everywhere too. Even in our bed. I brushed glitter off my forehead this morning.

We have no shortage of ornaments, either. And I LOVE our ornaments – I think every person entering our home should spend 5 minutes looking at our tree and I should hear them audibly ‘ooo-ing!’ and ‘ahhh-ing!’ over our precious ornaments. No? Phssft. Okay, so our tree theme is ‘hodgepodge.’ No fancy bows or ribbons. But I have saved nearly every ornament we collected over the past 40 years. I have no idea where some of them came from, but many of them our kids made in grade school.

The first ornament I ever collected is Angel mouse.

A common household rodent in angel dress?  Are you kidding?

A common household rodent in angel dress? Are you kidding?

My mother gave this one to me when she first opened her Boutique /Antique store in 1973. She was selling mice as well as trapping them in the old refurbished Crowley School Building, or maybe she was trapping them, adorning them with Christmas trappings and then selling them!

We lived in Sweden for four years in the 1980’s – so our tree has a Scandinavian touch. The first thing you do is pull out the Swedish flags

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String garlands of flags over the tree. Swedish and Norwegian flags for us, since we had also visited Norway and had close Norwegian and Swedish friends.

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Scandinavian ornaments include straw, yarn, or crystal goats, pigs, Tomtes, birds, stars – well, I’ll just show you some of our mix of ornaments:

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Straw  Jule Goat

Straw Jule Goat

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Santa riding across the world on a pig?

Santa riding across the world on a pig?

This next ornament is in a category all its own, the category of “almost been tossed, like, every time it comes out of the box” because it’s just so, uh, I dunno

Ugly but adorable?

Ugly but adorable?

Given to Aaron by his first piano teacher, Mrs. Dutch.

Moving right along now, to the ones our kids made in grade school…

Megan's hand

Megan’s hand

How many ways can you make Rudolph? Trace your hand onto a piece of sandpaper and cut it out! Or attach his nose and antlers to a lightbulb…

Has Rudolph been into the egg nog?

Has Rudolph been into the egg nog?

I have about 4 of these green-nosed Rudolphs. – they were practice ones for when I led a group of kids through this Christmas ornament activity. Megan’s girl scout troop? Can’t remember, but I marvel at any teacher’s willingness and ability to organize and lead the average class of 25-32 grade school children through one of these craft activities.

Ben made several ornaments in third grade, with his teacher, Mrs. Sisty. Don’t know how she pulled it off, but Ben came home with this precious angel,

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and a reindeer

How has the dog missed the treat hanging on the tree all these years?

How has the dog missed the treat hanging on the tree all these years?

Dog Rudy is oblivious to this treat. Maybe he needs his sniffer checked.

Okay, well, should probably put a wrap on this. But not until I share a couple more ornaments in the “Don’t know from where or whom they came, or when they blessed us with their presence” category – this first one – of two attack chipmunks emerging from a snowy pine cone

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One of them clearly rabid…

And lastly, this gem:

candle ornament gone awry

candle ornament gone awry

A wreath with a very erect hot element rising up through its center. One assumes it’s a candle? That one always gets hung, uh, secured on a branch, at the back of the tree. You know, in case some house visitor actually stops and spends a few minutes looking at our tree.  This ornament likely would solicit some ‘ewwwww’s’ and ‘aaaah’s.’

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