Monday, December 3, 2012

The Memory Tree 2012

I'm calling this Year's Christmas Tree at Home The Memory Tree of 2012 because each Antique, Hand-Made & Retro Ornament upon it has History with our Family, a Lifetime of Precious Memories and a Story that is distinctly ours and was Fun to Share with the G-Kid Force.
The G-Kid Force had been chomping at the bit to Decorate because we've had the bare lit Tree set up for over a week now.  We have been spending all week sorting through the vast Collection of Christmas Ornaments & Decor to divide between what would be Sold, thrown away, Donated or Kept?  And then the decisions about which from the Kept Ornaments would then go on this Year's Tree?  It has been a tedious, Time consuming & Labor intensive Process, but I feel really good about having embarked upon it, because it was necessary.
Remember when Bread Dough Ornaments were all the Rage?  *LOL*  Yeah, we had plenty of those & thankfully over the years a few Special ones have indeed Survived.  The biggest problem with Bread Dough Ornaments are that they are made from Food... and so the Bread Dough Loving Weevils can sometimes invade and destroy them over Time no matter how well stored, protected & wrapped they have been.   A protective coating of Shellac sometimes helps & will give a nice Sepia Patina to the Dough.

And many of our Fragile Ornaments have also Survived the many moves our Families have had from Country to Country, State to State and even the many moves around Arizona.  Some are from my Childhood and some European ones even belonging to my Nanna and my Great-Grandmother from North Wales!
I Enjoy seeing how Ornaments have Evolved over the Years and what Ornamentation was Popular in different Eras and Countries.  Several have seen Christmases through the past Century and various Countries!

This particular Ornament holds a Special Place in my Heart and Memories... it is one of a Pair of European Hand-Blown Delicate Santa Ornaments that is almost Transparent the Glass is so Thin and Fragile... and the Santa Duo are about 100 Years old now.  Every Year my Brother and I would eagerly wait to each hang one of the Santas on the Tree, it was our Favorite of the Ornaments and so it became a Special Tradition .  I Inherited both Santas {my Bro' is not the Nostalgic or Sentimental one, LOL}... and I'm so Glad they have both Survived to this day to Grace our Tree again for 2012!  Funny how the Simple Joys are often the most Memorable & Cherished!

Often I can Recall exactly When, Where and How each Ornament came into the Collection... where I got it, if it was a Gift or who Created it.  Odd really since there are so many and I'm at that Season of Life that I often can't Recall what I had for the last Meal... or if I even ate?!?  *Winks*

It is Rare nowadays for me to pick up any more Ornaments for the Collection... I already have so many and how many Christmases do I actually have left to make it worthwhile to Invest in?!  *LOL*  So Culling the Collection has been the Primary Focus now for a few Years actually... Gifting some... Donating some... Selling some... tossing those that got damaged... Keeping only what I absolutely Love and/or want to pass along to Family that might want to be the Keepers Of The Past when I'm gone.  But this Year the Edit & Purge Goal was to go through them ALL & be Ruthless!

There are so many Ornaments that I made or our Children made over the Years and the G-Kid Force Loved hearing about who made which Ornaments... especially the ones their Mommy made.  Alas Time isn't always Kind to Felt Ornaments either and they are another that Heat, Moths & Bugs tend to Ravage... so we don't have nearly as many as we used to and several had to be thrown out this Year too.

A Shame since most of the Felt ones are those that were Lovingly Created by all of us in the Family or by Dear Friends and a lot of Time and Work went into them... so throwing the damaged ones away is bittersweet... I know we cannot keep them and yet its sad to have to discard them... they're like Old Friends.  But some have tenaciously Survived and I try to Protect them as best I can... those Felt eating Weevils & Moths are Masterful at getting into ANY type of Container or Protective Wrapping and even Mothballs haven't always kept them away, the hungry Felt Luvin' Lil Buggers! *Le Sigh*  Felt must be like Moth & Weevil Crack I'm figurin'?!?  *LOL* 

The Antique European Blown Glass Fish Ornaments weren't always understood by our American Friends over the Years. In my Mom's Country it was not only in Remembrance of the Food Miracles of Jesus... but also a Custom to put Food Inspired Ornamentation and even Real Food upon the Tree to Ensure that there would not be Famine or Lack in the Household during the next Year.  And we have always continued that Time Honored Tradition and Ritual for the same Reasons.

I can almost see the Layers of our Artistic Interests and Hobbies in which Ornaments were Created during various points in Time!   *Smiles*  There was the Cross Stitch Era... where we were very Gung-Ho about Creating Cross-Stitch Ornaments.  And you've seen the previous Eras of Felt Ornament and Cookie Dough Creations.   And the Children always made Ornaments at Day Care or School to Gift us with, very Creative, Artistic and Crafty Bunch they've all been & continue to be!

And the ONLY Ornaments that not a single one Survived of would be the Macaroni Ornaments!  If you think infestations in your Cookie Dough and Felt Ornaments can be a problemo... well, Macaroni Crafts top the List of things NOT to make Ornaments or Crafts with that you plan to keep or try to Cherish!!!  I swear there must be dormant Macaroni eating Critters IN the Product {yeah I know, scary thought really} because they NEVER survive without being chomped on!  And so I usually just throw them out after they've Graced the Tree the Year they were made by the Children so that I don't have the Horror of discovering them being a Critter Buffet & Smorgasborg the next Season!  {Ewwwwwww!!!}
And after we got the Tree Decorated we Nestled the Beloved 1950's Baby Jesus under it in His Straw, Tea Stained Lace, Vintage Velvet & Antique Silver Manger... I know, not Traditional Manger Material, but we Hooked the Baby Jesus up in Style at our House.  *Smiles*
This Vintage Baby Jesus has quite the back end Story too... I purchased him Online many years ago from a Seller in Canada... on the way to the U.S. he somehow had another package that must have held Fresh Maple Syrup break and leak through to & into His Package!  So... when He arrived the Delightful Aroma of Fresh Maple Syrup was SO STRONG and He was absolutely covered in the Gooey mess!!!  I was horrified, thinking that it might damage the very Old Rubber He is made of and yet I didn't want to file a Claim and let Him go since I'd been looking for one for Years!  Thankfully He cleaned up like a charm and for the first few Years we had Him there was still the lingering Scent of Maple Syrup to remind us of his Maple Syrup Bath in transit!  *LOL*  And I always wondered about the poor Souls that expected their Fresh Maple Syrup for Christmas, only to find it broken and all leaked out!?

And the Final Decoration is always the Tree Topper... and this Year we chose a Hand-Made Angel that was a Gift to us many Years ago from a Talented Friend who Created the Best Christmas Decorations and Crafts... always Gifting them to those who were Special in her Life... Thank You Dearest Peggy, your Hand-Made Gifts were always so Appreciated & Cherished, as were the many Christmases we spent Together.  

So... this is the Memory Tree of 2012... and except for a Light Malfunction at the very top that we couldn't fix on this pre-lit Tree, it is absolutely Perfect.  This is our 2nd Year of having a White Tree and we're really Enjoying it and will alternate it with the Traditional Green Tree in Storage and the occassional Real Trees.  NOTE: Absolutely ADORE Living Christmas Trees & their Delightful Aroma, but even cutting them ourselves from a Local Tree Farm, our Hot Winters in the Arizona Desert are brutal on Pine Trees of all kinds.  They quickly become dried out and a potential Fire Hazard, so a Living Tree can't be put up for long and we like to Enjoy our Trees as long as possible. Plus we live in a VERY OLD House... and Live Christmas Trees in the Desert tend to be quite EXPENSIVE since most are shipped in from afar & not Locally grown... so we usually opt for a Faux Tree.  

And speaking of EXPENSIVE... well, with being Blessed with so many G-Kids... and especially since the two we're Raising get almost all of their Gifts from The Man and I... Christmas don't come Cheap my Friends!  So I've been Selling and Saving like Crazy to try to Fund Christmas 2012 for the extensive G-Kid Force!   The ones out of State and out of the Country we can just be Regular
 G-Parents to when it comes to Birthdays and Holiday Giftings because they're living with their Parent(s).   But obviously its different for these two... so they break out their Wish Lists for 'Santa' and hand it over to Gramma Dawn to 'Deliver'.  *In more ways than one... Winks*  And wouldn't you know, this Year's Special 'Dream Gift' Request from each wasn't Modest... hey, Kids are Kids, they don't really understand Fixed Income or Retirement and the Special Challenges of still Raising Young-Uns at this Season of Life, which can be difficult, I'm not lying... so Gramma and Grandpa do our best to fulfill at least some of the Fantasy if possible.

I felt badly that there had been a recent rash of Bicycle Thefts in our area this week and they both had their Bikes Stolen on Friday right out of the Yard and in broad daylight!!!   Unfortunately during the Christmas Season Crime tends to increase rather than decrease... obviously Evidence that not all have God in their Hearts or are living Godly Lives or spreading Goodwill towards their fellow man.   The G-Kid Force were naturally upset, as were we, but they took it in stride... which made me want to fulfill that one Special Request for each of them all the more if I had Good Sales this Paycheck at the Mall?!?  I had set my Target Goal of how much I Hoped to Sell and I'm Delighted to report that I only missed that Goal by about two dollars!!!  *Whoo Hoo!*  Sales have increased since I got my Showroom & Loft Spaces so I'm relieved, it's really helping out to supplement a fixed disability & retirement income... important when you're tasked with still raising a Family in your Golden Years.

And I was able to get out early enough to locate that Special Somethin'-Somethin' for each... not much will be under the Tree this year, but what is there I Hoped to make really Special Quality rather than Quantity, this is going to be our more Simple Christmas, concentrating on the Reason for the Season and getting back to the basics... which I actually see as a Good Thing, we're Blessed...

John 3:16

King James Version (KJV) 

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  
That is The Lord's Gift to us!!!

And I just know how Delighted the G-Kid Force will be come Christmas Morn!!!  And that makes any Personal Sacrifices we've made all worthwhile to us too... because you can't really put a Price on Love or Joy or Giving of yourself... because it Multiplies Joy to the Giver...


If you would like to Experience even more of a Vintage Christmas and Vintage Holiday Inspiration abounding, please join us for my Blog Friend Debra's Blog Party over at COMMON GROUND.
May your Joy also be Multiplied my Friends... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. What a beautiful assortment of ornaments and memories.....

    ...and one GOOD thing about a challenging economy, I think, is the way we are brought face-to-face with what REALLY matters! I love watching as young families celebrate the season (Advent, etc.) creatively and communicate Christ-mas to their families in sensible & joyful ways.

  2. Our tradition was that everyone received an ornament that reflected something that happened to them that year. Their name and the year was written somewhere on it. When my children left home, they were all given their memories and they are all proudly displayed on their trees. We still continue this with them and our grandchildren. Happy family memories makes Christmas all that more special.

  3. Oh your tree holds so many wonderful memories, those ornaments are always so special. We have been married 46 years so we have plenty of those also. The white tree is lovely, we can never have a real tree--I'm allergic to all spruce varities--so glad the faux ones look so beautiful. The baby Jesus story is a fun one--HE looks perfect in the straw.


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl