Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas trees - place for memories

A family member recently remarked how much history was attached to the decorations on our family Christmas tree.
Our first Christmas tree, when we moved to Bayswater forty years ago, was a branch from the pine tree that grew in our back garden. This continued until the tree had to be removed during a severe drought. Since then we have had this small synthetic tree which stands on a table in the corner of the lounge room. At the end of Christmas every year I say that next year I will purchase a new Christmas tree, however this tree has character even though I may need to add a little wire from time to time to hold branches in place.

The tree has a variety of decorations which are always on the tree each year. Some are macrame and fabric decorations that I made in the 1970s. There are also decorations that the grandchildren have made as well as decorations acquired when our sons were small.

When we travel overseas, particularly in Europe, I often purchase a special decoration for the tree. There are also decorations that were on the family tree when I was a child, including a couple of decorations that were on my grandmother's tree.
A selection of decorations on our tree including macrame candy canes, a felt elf from my time in Canberra in 1969, glass angels and wooden decorations from Europe, a metal decoration from Hawaii plus an assortment of decorations purchased from the Oxfam shop. The photo below also includes a hand print Santa.
At the top of the tree are a number of special decorations.
At the very top of the tree is a wooden angel that my son purchased at the Nuremberg Christmas Market when he was an exchange student in Germany. The other angel was one that I always liked on my grandmother's tree. The St Nick below the angels also was one of my grandmother's decorations.
The plastic Nativity scene was given to me when I was a child and it sits at the bottom of the tree. The star seems to have become detached so some repair work will need to be undertaken.
Special decorations do not have to be old. Several years ago when we went on an APT cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam I purchased this Christmas train on the ship. On another trip to Europe I purchased a second train and they are a colourful addition to our collection of Christmas decorations.
My four year old grandson helped me unpack the Christmas decorations this year and when he found the two Christmas wreaths he correctly told me where the wreaths are normally hung. He also supervised me when I attached one wreath to the front door to make sure that I did it properly. This is an example of how family Christmas traditions continue.

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