Saturday, December 15, 2012


I debated about posting about our main Christmas tree this year as some of you have already heard its story.  The tree now basically looks the same year after year with just a couple of new ornaments added.  But, after five Christmases of blogging; I decided that the Christmas tree post has become part of the tradition.

This is how the tradition started -- our first tree in our small apartment in 1958.  We were poor newly-wed college students and paid a couple of dollars for the live tree plus we bought one red ball to paint the year on.  Those red puffs were some net I had, and we strung some popcorn as garland.  
This is what the tree has grown into today.
This is our 55th Christmas as a family -- consequently there are now 55 red balls on the tree, each with the year painted on.  Some of the years have run together in our minds, but the years of new babies, new houses, or memorable trips are refreshed memories as we hang the balls on the tree each year. 
It's seems that everything on the tree has a story -- part of the tradition!  This is one of the Barfy twins.  Yes, there are two of these elves -- one for each hand of a sick 2-year-old on a VERY rough airplane ride.  I'll spare you further details; but, the Barfy boys have been frolicking on our Christmas tree for 42 years now.
The popcorn garland has always been the domain of Bob, the kids, and the grand kids.  I'm the seamstress of the family, but I don't sew popcorn!  Some years we save the popcorn from the previous year by storing it in the freezer.  This year was time for all new popcorn.  Even the grand kids are getting too busy, and no one was around to help Bob this year.  He sat for three days stringing popcorn while watching the History channel!!!  
Bless him!!!
There are a lot of Hallmark ornaments on the tree.  Who would have thought when I bought the first of the series on Nostalgic Houses and Shops 28 years ago, that Hallmark would STILL be enticing me to add to the series each year.  So, O.K. Mr. Hall, enough, already -- can we stop the series now, so our complete set of houses and shops will be finished and worth a million dollars?  Then I can stop thinking about (and participating in) the commercialism of Christmas?
There are so many other ornaments with stories on the tree - handmade gifts from talented friends; reminders from trips; and memories from family.  
I must save some of those stories for a Christmas tree post next year.

Are you growing a tree of tradition at your house?

I'm linking to the following:
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday


NanaDiana said...

Oh- I love this. See even though you have been doing this for 5 years this is my first Christmas for visiting your blog-so it is all new to me. I love it...AND I have that same house collection. I gifted it to my daughter this year. She hung it on a garland across her dining room windows and has a light bulb in each one. I am glad she loves it as much as I do- xo Diana

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I too am so glad you shared your tree and it's stories. This is also my first year of visiting your blog and I love your tree. I too have a memory tree at Christmas that holds all the ornaments of a lifetime. Such great fun to put them on the tree and remember! Love the 'barfy' twins! I don't have the house collection but the 'cat ornaments' and I'm ready for that series to end also!
Still I love them all! Hugs, Linda

Mabel Jane's said...

Thank you for sharing your "Tree" story. I especially love your "first" tree and how your traditions evolved from it. Blessings...Pam

Little Susie Home Maker said...

Isn't that great? We love to string popcorn since I was a kid. Sometimes cranberries,or pretzels through ribbons, then it goes outside for the wild critters to decorate their trees after we take down our tree! I love the way you add new memories to your tree every year. my kids have grown to love the stories that go with the ornaments and can tell many of them themselves now. Our tree is very similar to yours in the idea behind it. I love that about our tree and can see yours is so important to your too. Merry Christmas.

Eppie Doodle said...

I can just see your husband stringing that popcorn garland while watching the History channel. Your tree is beautiful. What beautiful memories! Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Love your tree Sally and it's just like all the things in your home- they all have a story!

We used to get a new Hallmark ornament every year ( I actually would go the day after Christmas and pick them out as they were 50+ off then!

I am still trying to get my 500 Christmas ministry letters out- and 70 donor ornaments -taking a little break to come visit as stuffing envelopes gets very boring!

A Romantic Porch said...

I love your story. how inspiring. Love, ,Rachel

Jill said...

Traditional trees that are full of memories are the very best kind!! I like it!!

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Sally, I love a tree that tells a story. We use to have an old fashioned tree like that. I have given my kids ornaments each Christmas from the time they were born. Now I give them to the grands. When the kids marry I gave them all of their ornaments. Now I have just a few that I have picked up over the years. Mostly to remind us of owonderful vacations. Love the numbered red balls and your first tree was priceless! Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.
oh, and I almost forgot. Love the popcorn garland. Hubby did good!

Sue said...

How very sweet that you have added a red ball to your tree every year, Sally! I have strung popcorn, too- I've even saved it in a box with mothballs! LOL When it finally bit the dust, I said no more threading those kernels for me and I changed the theme of the tree!
Enjoy a blessed Christmas holiday with your family. :-) Sue