A Treeful of Memories—Christmas 2011

Our Christmas decorations reflect the different facets, the different times of our lives. There are ornaments that hung on our parents’ trees as long as 75 years ago. There are tiny musical instruments. A pewter rocking horse bunny. Another angelic bunny using a carrot as a herald’s trumpet. Samoyeds in various poses.

Pictures and mementos of friends, family, pets, some no longer with us, some still alive. Handprints. Wooden beads.

A snowman, Santa, and a rocking horse hand-carved by my mother-in-law.

A Lionel train set bought used for me some of the components of which are at least 70 years old and which has been reconditioned (a Christmas present from my wife decades ago) so it still runs.

The base of our tree is wrapped in handmade quilts that were rags a half century ago and which were used by an antique dealer (the grandson of the man who guided Francis Parkman on the Oregon Trail) to pad the furniture my mom bought. Who knows how old they are? Or who made them?

Things we’ve bought for each other. Things we’ve bought together.

A treeful of memories.

3 comments… add one
  • michael reynolds Link

    Our tree leans like a drunk. We managed to lose the adjustable stand so we grabbed the spike-and-rebar stand at the tree lot. Ever tried bending rebar?

    Not my favorite holiday. I wish Christians had been able to keep it as a unique religious holiday rather than letting it mutate into an orgy of overconsumption. I think the result is that the holiday is hellish for strapped parents and for people stuck alone. It’s a pity because the basic story — the humble birth of the son of God come to fix his dad’s mistakes (maybe that’s just my spin) isn’t a bad story. It’s not original to Christians, but it works pretty well nevertheless. And it wouldn’t force people into debt for crap they don’t want or need but have to buy to keep their kids from feeling left out.

    Sorry, too negative?

    I just wish it could be a Christian thing for Christians, like Yom Kippur is for Jews. Once the religious holidays mate with American capitalism the results are not pretty. Jake and I are going to see Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, sort of as a palette cleanser.

  • Like Confucius I love the ritual. I do my best to ignore the commercialism.

  • jan Link

    Christmas is what you want to make it be…

    Most of the time we have had a traditional Christmas in S. CA. Like Dave our tree reflects the years of our lives — ornaments made by friends, purchased at Christmas church bazaars, ones made by our son over time, funky ones, beautiful ones, ones that have been passed down over generations. Each one has it’s own story, it’s own place in our memories.

    This year, though, we are spending it in N. CA. Our tree is a small ill-shaped fir tree, cut from a grove near our home. It sits in an antique bottle, thin-armed branches swooping unevenly out over our wood floor. The decorations are sparse as well, including a string of lights that girdle the trunk, going upward, and then fanning out onto branches that will suport the weight. Even though it is an odd little tree, it has warmed our holidays immensely. Our Christmas presents were inexpensive this year, but reflected the interests and personalities of the people they were given to. In one hour we will go to a friend’s place for dinner, with our son who drove up to spend the holidays with us. I have to say it has so far been one of the best Christmas’s in recent memory.

    Family, friends, and comfortable times are the ingredients held dear this year……..

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