Flashback Friday – O Christmas Tree

This is the
“O My Gosh, I Can’t Believe It’s on Time! Edition
of Flashback Friday, brought to you by Quilldancer.

Flashback Friday is the brain child of Linda from Mocha With Linda. This is the meme that takes us back in time to the days of our youth. Linda says, This meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been!

When you were growing up, when did your family put up and decorate the Christmas tree? Was it real or artificial? Who usually decorated it? Were there special decorations? What was on the top? White lights or colored, blinking or steady? How much did your family decorate for the holiday other than the tree (wreaths, dishes, snowglobes, miniature villages, etc.)? Did y’all do outdoor lights? White or colored, blinking or not? Are there special memories associated with decorating for Christmas?

We always had a live tree.  My dad was a logger and two of my Uncles owned tree farms.  They would have died if Gram put a fake tree up in our living room and buying a tree would have been an even worse crime!

Usually my dad or one of my uncles would bring the tree in and put it in the stand, then they would leave and Gram and I would decorate.  I never understood why, when I was a kid, Gram always made me go to my room until the lights were on the tree.  As an adult I know … it was the cuss words.  I am sure of it.

Gram had wonderful stuff to put on the tree!  She had old porcelain bells shaped like Santa, Angels, Christmas Trees, Bells (duh), Carolers, and Snowmen.  We always hung candy canes on the tree — one for each day until Christmas, and I got to eat one every night (well, usually I took it off the tree at night and didn’t eat it until the next day).  When there was only one candy cane left, I knew the next day was Christmas!  She started that when I was 6 to keep me from asking every night, “How long?”  She would say, “Go count the candy canes!”

If my dad did stay around when we decorated the tree, it had to have tinsel.  Gram generally skipped the tinsel because (as you doubtless know) it has a way of leaving the tree and migrating all over the house.  And my dad insisted that the tinsel be put on the tree one strand at a time. I was never that patient and would lose interest pretty fast.

For years we had an angel on top pf the tree.  It was just a little white plastic cone with a doll head and feather wings.  I remember thinking it ugly and being rather pleased when it finally burnt out.  We replaced it with a lovely multi-colored star.

The only other decoration that went up was Gram’s creche.  That was special.  It had a wooden stable with a real straw roof, and Gram always put real straw on the floor.  A porcelain angel hung from the peak of the stable roof.  There were porcelain figurines for Mary, Joseph, the wisemen, their camels, and there were sheep and donkeys.  Little baby Jesus was naked in the manager laying on a white cloth over the straw.  Of course he and it was porcelain, too.

The creche pictured here is much like Gram’s, but there are a few minor differences. I remember the first time Gram let me put the creche up.  She told me it was over 50 years old, and I had to be extremely careful with it.  Even then, I wasn’t allowed to move the stable because she was afraid it would fall apart.  Every year more of the roof flaked away.  I was very careful handling that creche.  I loved it.  I have no idea where it ended up after Gram died. It doesn’t matter though, it is still beautiful and everlasting in my heart.