I wasn't sure I'd get a Christmas tree up this year, but I did and it was before Christmas. I'm just a little late writing about it. It makes me somewhat sad to see how little our trees are now compared to the "old days" of my youth or our young married days. It's bad enough that we no longer get live trees and resort to artificial. To me, that was a huge sacrifice, but it was mostly because of me that the sacrifice had to be made. I developed allergies after we moved out to the country. I actually probably always had them, but they really started to bother me when we moved here.
Our first artificial tree was about 6 and a half or 7 feet tall. I had trouble getting it into the basket at the store to buy it. I had trouble getting it out of the car when I got it home and it was always trouble to store and transport to the spot it would be set up. It was heavy, bulky and a pain in the butt. It was stored out in the trailer that my dad lived in for the last year or so of his life. The trailer was only on our property for a few months before he passed. After he died, I turned the trailer into a quilting studio. That came to an end when fire ants got into the air conditioning and killed it. The next winter, we couldn't get the heat to come on either. I pretty much abandoned the trailer at that point. We continued to store things out in the trailer. Then we found mice living out there. That's when I abandoned the big Christmas tree. I wasn't about to lug that thing into the wheel barrow and then to the house to find it full of mice, nests and feces.
Last year we had a very tiny live tree. I'm talking about 2 feet tall. We got it about a week before Christmas and got it out of the house right after the holiday. This year, I went to the dreaded Wal-mart (NOT my favorite place, but I end up having to shop there or go to Dallas) and found a little 4 foot, artificial tree, with lights for all of $25! Since Richard had not been paid at that time, I was thrilled. I put it up on the bar (another reason for the tree downsizing is that we have too much furniture now for one on the floor!) and decorated it to within and inch of it's little life!
You may not know this about me, but I've collected Christmas ornaments for the whole of my marriage. I have a lot of Christmas ornaments! There have been times when I've had them hanging from the curtain rods and the burlap curtain tie backs (yes, I have burlap curtains in my living room). I've hung them from the shelf in the living room on the stocking hangers that we no longer use for stockings. I put a miniature tree in my bathroom, loaded with miniature ornaments. I put ornaments that can stand or sit flat on shelves, the microwave, any place I can think of. I put ornaments on wreaths. If the wreath is outside and a bird happens to make a nest in it, I leave it up for a year or more. I get ornaments wherever I travel and at Christmas time each year. I give them as gifts and I keep them for myself. They make me happy.
My favorites are porcelain birds, Santa's, angels, Hallmark ornaments and lately Radko ornaments. For many years, I collected Precious Moment ornaments also. I love handmade ornaments and ornaments made of tin. I'm especially fond of anything that looks old fashioned.
My little 4 foot tree is covered this year with the ornaments that I dearly love. The ones I've mentioned above and the ones that remind me of loved ones. They have been made by friends or family, given to me by friends or family or in some other way remind me of them. They are ones that I will never part with.
That being said, I'm considering parting with many of my ornaments. I live in a small house. We moved here with more than we could fit into it. We got rid of lots of things and have accumulated even more over the almost 20 years we've lived here. Besides that, my love for ornaments has not diminished. I still find new ones each year that I want to buy and I have no where to put them or hang them. Of the 6 or 8 boxes of ornaments I have, I could only get about 1 and a half on the tree this year. My husband has his own collection too. His are all Star Trek related and all from Hallmark. Most, if not all, make some kind of noise or light up. None of them are on the tree this year, but today, I went and bought him his own tree. Next year, he'll have it full of his ornaments! And after the Christmas of 2009 I'll go back to Wal-mart to see if they have any of the same trees on sale. If they do and I have the money, I'll get at least one, maybe two more of the trees. One will go in the bathroom to replace the miniature that I've finally agreed to give to my son. I actually bought it for him many years ago and then wouldn't let him have it. The other may go up in our bedroom on my cutting table. I've always wanted several trees in the house. I just didn't realize they'd all be little 4 foot trees!