I love Christmas! Well most Christmas seasons. I love the shopping, the food, the music, the gift giving, the cooking, the family and friends.. I love it all. I used love decorating the tree. As a matter of fact we had two trees in our house for many years. The two tree thing started with initially purchasing Norfolk pines, one for our oldest son, Dan and the other for our youngest son, David. Then we put them out in our yard at our home in San Diego. We didn't have a large yard so after a couple of years of that we then just got cut trees. One in the living room that was Victorian in nature and the other that had the family ornaments on them and big red bows, with strung popcorn and strings of dried apples. Both the trees were incredible.
Every room in our house would get decorated for Christmas. The shower curtain was even Christmas themed with mistletoe all over it. I had Christmas towels and washrags and even Christmas throws for the floor. I had Christmas decorations for each room in the house as well. Nothing escaped Rene's Christmas decorating frenzy. Later, when we moved to Ohio, we didn't have a lot of money so we did Christmas with extravagance but on the cheap. We painted grocery bags and used them for gift wrap, and we made our own cards and we even made our own ornaments. I had been making 10 to 20 ornaments every year for the tree but the boys now helped and their ornaments are some of my favorites for our tree. They will not ever get these ornaments till I die or stop doing trees but they are theirs.
I still recall how much fun we had making bread dough ornaments. It was so fun to see the kids create something and see how they turned out. One of my favorites was an ornament that Dan made. It was supposed to be a snow man. He did such a good job of making it and putting holes in it for small twigs. We put him in the oven and a half hour later we pulled the ornaments out and Dan's snow man and fallen backwards in the cooking. Dan started to cry until I pointed out that that was the coolest snowman I had seen since it looked like it had started melting. The boys both laughed about that and each year we have to be sure and put out that snowman. We also had one that got a huge crack up its back. It is not politically correct to stay this but the boys called it "butt crack" and it stuck. Each year I have applied shellac to its crack to make sure no moisture seeps into it and destroys it. David made an incredible angel one year and it is also one of my favorite ornaments.
Did I mention that I have been making ornaments since we first got married? Well it started because I had a bunch of yarn and some old cards that I had received and liked. My first ornaments were twigs covered in yarn with small pictures from cards used for embellishment. they were very simple but really did look cool on the tree. They resembled ice drips. The next year I crocheted bells, the next year i used small pieces of wood and covered them with lace and Christmas pics. I have sewn angels, made doll ornaments, paper mache ornaments, ornaments from sculpey clay, painted wooden ornaments, made ornaments from bread, gourds and cans. I even have a couple of needlepoint ornaments although I have to admit that I didn't make them.In total I have over 500 ornaments. We also have over 2000 lights for the tree. There is a story behind this....
One Christmas I was watching Good Morning America and they had this guy on who decorated trees for a living. He was talking about how he gets trees to glow by not stringing on the lights but wrapping the lights around the tree beginning with the trunk and then working out each and every branch and wrapping the lights around each one and then wrapping the lights around the branch again from the outside of the branch to the center of the tree then going up to the next branch. Well the last house we lived in had a 15 foot ceiling so we got a 15 foot noble fir. Gorgeous tree!!! We attached the top of the tree to airline cable and strung the cable through a hook in the ceiling. and then tied the cable to the wall. This way the tree would not fall over! Before putting the tree up though, Mary and I wrapped this tree. each branch and the trunk. It took the two of us 8 hours of wrapping!!! When it was lit the tree was so light you could read by it.
With the kids not here this year and with all that is happening it is difficult to get geared up for Christmas. The tree is decorated at the shop and we have scaled down alot of the Christmas decorating and festivities and well it is a lot different without the kids but next year... next year the grand kids will be here and Christmas... Oh Christmas will be back to the fun it should be. I miss the look of wonder on kids faces when they see the tree, I miss the mishaps and the noise and the excitement. Dan misses playing Santa. I even miss the cats climbing the tree. Next year... I try not to say that to often. I don't want to spend my life looking over the fence (so to speak) at someone elses grass. So I will enjoy this Christmas, the concerts, the fun and the joy that comes with Christmas and in the end... It will be good.
Celebrating Christmas on Whidbey Island.