Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tree Decorating Traditions

When I was decorating the tree this past weekend it got me to thinking about Christmases past and the kind of decorations we put on the tree when I was a kid.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I remember boxes of glass ornaments almost exactly like these. I found these pictures on eBay, but I think we had a box just like this one. I recognize the cover. Sadly, most of the pretty glass balls were broken over the years. Sometimes they'd fall off the tree or someone would accidentally sit on a box.

I remember putting my fingers through some of the ones that were indented in the center. I wish I still had some of the ones from my childhood. They were so colorful and special and the lights made them shine.

Anyone remember those big clunky light strands with metal reflectors?. lol Some of them were circular, some shaped like stars and they came in all different colors--red, green, blue and yellow.

It was always my job to check the lights. Back in those days the lights were unscrewed from the sockets and stored carefully, the reflectors were stacked and put safely in their own box and the strands were carefully bundled away at the end of the holiday.

I've tried to keep pieces of my past on my Christmas tree. When I left home I confiscated the metal icicles we used to hang on the tree. At that point no one else liked them but me. They'd fallen out of style. I found another pack of them a few years back at a thrift store so now I have more than enough of them for my tree.

Something else I found at a thrift store were several of those lovely vintage glass birds that clip on the tree. (The ones pictured aren't mine but are very similar. Once again I got the picture from eBay.) I'll try to get some pictures of my decorations and put them up in a few days.

I have the birds clipped to the garland surrounding the entertainment center. They look gorgeous when the christmas lights hit them.

The style of ornaments has certainly changed since I was a kid. Back then most people had the same type of ornaments, usually what the local department store carried. Anyone else remember satin balls and chunky gold garland from the 70's?

All my ornaments are either homemade or gifts from friends and family. Each one has a story, a memory. I like that. My sister seems to change the ornaments on her tree every few years, depending on her mood.

How do you decorate your tree? Do you have a theme? Have you kept any ornaments or traditions from your childhood?


Virginia C said...

Hi, NJ! Happy holidays to you and your husband : ) Gosh, it almost sounds like we had the same Christmas tree! We had the glass ornaments in the sectioned boxes, the big (really hot) lights with the reflectors, the silver icicles and so on : ) I love it all--and I put it all on the tree. It brings back so many memories! It might look like a jumbled mess to someone else, but to me, it looks perfect!

anny cook said...

Heh. I blogged about decorating the tree, too! Great minds... When I was a kid we didn't have a tree but about four or five years that I remember so I determined to have one every year when I married. I have a few very old glass balls we inherited from my in-laws. And like you, most of my ornaments have specific memories or meaning to us.

Thanks for sharing your memories.

N.J.Walters said...

Happy Holidays, Virginia! Those lights really were hot, weren't they. And you'd only have a few strands on the tree. Not like nowadays with tons of lights. lol

I loved opening the boxes of glass ornaments. They were always so pretty.

N.J.Walters said...

Great minds, Anny. *g* We always had a tree. Looking back at the pictures some of them were pretty sad, but they always seemed so magical at the time.

Kat said...

Happy holidays to you N.J. Our tradition every year was to go and buy a few new ornaments to add to our collection. We collected ornaments shaped like kitty cats.:-) And of course, no holiday would be complete without the traditional search for the one light that made them all go out. LOL

N.J.Walters said...

That's a nice tradition, Kat. A lot of folks collect certain kinds of ornaments. Makes for a fun tree.

lol You're right about the lights of course. *g*