Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar: The Christmas Tree Then and Now

Nearly every year right after Thanksgiving, mom would put up the Christmas Tree while dad would put up the outside lights.  When we were old enough, we were assigned to help mom.  It was more than a little task of unfolding groups of branches (we had artificial trees as far back as I can remember):
You can see that the tree is loaded with ornaments, envelopes, garland, and icicles. But underneath the tree was the real treat: On the left side of the tree (as you look at it) were houses, a school, a library, and even an ice rink with skaters. On the right is a church and attendees.  It was all connected by a walking path (made of dirt if there'd not yet been any snow and coffee if it had snowed) with mountain paper in the background. Most of the village buildings and the church, and the mountain paper belonged to my father's mother Mary HODICK when she was young.  It was passed down to my father, and I believe then to my middle brother. It's very sad for me to say this, but I have no idea whatever happened to this village set.

Fast forward 35 + years (yikes) and I still spend the day(s) after Thanksgiving putting up the Christmas decorations. I usually start with the outside and work my way in.  You can see dramatic differences between our tree then and my tree now:
It's still an artificial tree (with my lack of a green thumb I'd burn the house down with a dry tree within a week).  Only now it's pre-lit so I don't have to struggle with strands of lights on the inside of the house like I do on the outside. But you will see only beaded garland on my tree, not tinsel garland. And you will never see icicles on my tree: Not only is tinsel and icicles a huge no-no when  you have a destructive chewer dog like Izzie, I simply have no desire to keep picking up the icicles into the following JUNE! And not only are the majority of my ornaments on the upper portion of the tree (the lights make it look less obvious when they're turned on), there is nothing under the tree except the skirt -- WHICH, I'll have you know, I've not been able to have in the first four Christmases with Izzie! And I will not be able to put presents under my tree as long as I have my paper-loving dog living with me.

I hope it's a long stretch of time before I can put presents under the tree again!


Janet Iles said...

If I ever get a tree again, I think I will go with the pre-lit variety. It is the lights that give me so much trouble. I am glad you have come up with a solution that allows Izzie to have free access to the living room.

DianaR said...

As a dog lover - who currently has a blanket over the bedspread so the dog can sleep on my bed during the day - I LOVE your tree with the ornaments and lights up high! What a great solution :-)