Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Tree of Memories

Sunday was the day for stringing popcorn and cranberries and decorating the tree with the help of friends and family. We're fortunate to have a core group who've done this so often that I could just leave them to it.

But I don't. I love to watch the old familiar ornaments appear and get put where they belong-- like the tree-topping angel that I made from a kit almost thirty years ago.















At last the popcorn cranberry chains are done -- about 75 feet of them -- and Justin and Cory take on the job of draping them to my exacting standards.



Then there are the scarlet ribbons for the tree . . .





. . . and the dogs . . .


. . . and one cat (Eddie was having none of it.)















The ornaments are an eclectic mix -- from this shabby blue ball that still bears the traces of the glitter-traced "Skip" that either my brother (Skip) or I adorned it with over fifty years ago. . .



. . to store bought crocheted snowflakes and candy canes and tin 'icicles' and a few porcelain bells that once adorned John's grandparents' tree. . .















. . . and this kinda tacky thing that was part of a box of ornaments my parents bought from John who was selling them as part of a club project back in high school . . .
















. . and this sequined heart made by Justin way back in third or fourth grade. . . .















. . and still another heart, made by Theresa, Aileen's mother.

















The finished product isn't glamorous-- but it's laden with memories.

























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19 comments:

Star said...

Oh I think it is beautiful, truly beautiful, full of love and happiness. I think you should leave it up all year round. I have tears in my eyes to see the red ribbons round the necks of your dogs and cat. What a lovely post to start my day (x)
Blessings, Star

Pat in east TN said...

Oh Vicki, your tree is beautiful and it was such fun to read your description of the ornaments and to look at it all in your pictures. I have one question ... how do you keep the dogs from eating the popcorn? I know at this house Wally would think that was his treat hanging on the tree and it would spell: DISASTER!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

My favorite kind of tree - eclectic with memories. Love the dogs with their bows. Don't they look handsome. Will the kitty keep hers on? Ours always managed to shake them off. It's so nice that you have elves to decorate the tree.
Sam

Miss_Yves said...

"a popcorn cranberry chains -- about 75 feet"
How interesting to discover foreign traditions !
I love your animals so adorned, and especially your cat !

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

I think it's gorgeous! :)

Kaye Barley said...

Vicki - my favorite kind of tree. And the kind of tree we have every year (sans the popcorn & cranberries, sadly). A tree full of memories. No fancy theme trees at our house. I can remember where each and every little ornament came from, or who made it, or gave it to us. AND - you and I were making our angel tree toppers at about the same time from similar kits!!!! Isn't that funny?! I'm still using mine too even though she's seen better days. I had a bit of a cry while decorating the tree this year when one of my antique ornaments slipped from my hand, hit the floor and instantly became dust. It was the UGLIEST jester face on God's green earth, but I loved it.
Thanks for another lovely post!!

Vicki Lane said...

It IS full of love and happiness, Star, along with the memories -- but I think we enjoy it all the more because it's only around for this brief period. I always take it down on New Year's Eve.

Pat -Molly and Ali Ali are the ones we have to watch -- after all, we toss popcorn to the dogs all the time when ever we eat it. But we keep an eye on them and say NO very firmly and so far they seem to understand.

Sam, none of them kept their bows on for long. And yes, I am truly blessed with elves -- nice tall ones to reach the high up branches.

Miss Yves -- popcorn is a lovely cheap snowy-looking material, often used by folks who couldn't afford anything else. Cranberries -- or some other red berry available in winter -- add a nice shot of color. It's definitely an old-fashioned or country look.

Thanks, Carol!

Tammy said...

It's beautiful, and very special. What a Christmas tree should be, I think. Thanks for sharing your decorating--looks like the critters enjoyed it too. (except for Eddie of course! ;-) The three little girl kitties here, came through their spays fine yesterday, and are full of vim and vigour today, thankfully.
Tammy

Martin H. said...

Vicki

A true tree of life. It looks quite majestic. You should all be very proud.

Vicki Lane said...

Kaye -- we lose a few ornaments every year -- probably a good thing so we can add more!

Tammy -- glad to hear the girl-kitties are doing well!

Thank you, Martin!

Vagabonde said...

Your tree is so lovely and the ornaments are so much more meaningful when you have had them for years, given or made by family members. When we moved to our house in Decatur decades ago, we went there the day before moving day to bring a few things including two big boxes of delicate and old ornaments as well as two large boxes of picture slides. Well that night someone broke into the house and stole our ornaments and our slides (plus a TV and a radio.) I was heartbroken for the ornaments and the slides really – more for the slides because it showed our wedding and the birth of our daughter and her first couple of years. So I know how much you cherish your ornaments.

willow said...

Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous! Now, yours is the fat live tree that would be my first choice.

Vicki Lane said...

Vagabonde -- how dreadful! One wonders why in the world anyone would steal slides. Even ornaments -- would they sell them? Hang them on their own tree and always remember where they came from.

Thank you, Willow!

Victoria said...

Vicki, your tree is absolutely beautiful! Memory trees are my favorite kind, and I love that you told the stories that go with the ornaments. You've given me an idea for my next few blog posts.

How I wish I could put popcorn and cranberries on my tree! My animals just won't allow me to do that.

Vicki Lane said...

Victoria -- Luckily all of our animals are pretty old and staid. Glad you enjoyed the stories behind the ornaments -- I may do some more. And I look forward to reading yours.

Tipper said...

Any tree laden with memories is beautiful : ) Looks like a fun time was had by all.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh yes, Tipper -- it's a holiday tradition!

maría cecilia said...

Vicki, it´s so nice to see family and friends making the tree (I haven´t make mine yet!).. you´ve got a so lovely helpers!!!
The angel is the most cute I´ve ever seen!!!!!
Muchos cariños
María Cecilia

Vicki Lane said...

I am so lucky to have their help, Maria Cecelia!