Each and every Christmas tree I have ever had in my life has been decorated in true German tradition and was always beautifully done by my mom!
Until mom and I came to the U.S., our tree was not put up until Christmas Eve. In true German tradition, the tree is not put up until then. The "living room" in German homes usually have doors attached and can be locked. On Christmas Eve, mom and Oma would be up late decorating our live tree so it would be ready for Christmas morning. Back then they even used real candles! Can you imagine doing that now! Once the tree was complete, the doors would be locked and not opened until Christmas morning! Sadly, I do not have any photos of those trees.
Once here in the U.S., mom became a little "Americanized". She would always put up a beautiful tall full live tree just after Thanksgiving all the way up to her passing away . . . I am attempting to continue this tradition now . Mom was a master at decorating the Christmas tree as well as the entire house, her trees are amazing! I had always said to her, you should have worked for Macy's as their Christmas window display decorator.
Until recently, we both have always had live 'Noble Fir' trees in our own homes. Both mom and I turned to artificial trees, to see them you can not even tell they are fake, especially with mom's touch.
Mom's Artificial Tree and enchanting Thomas Kinkade Village, 2008
My tree in 2011 . . . This is my late mother's tree (photo of tree in her home in first photo above) that is now proudly standing in my home with all of her ornaments.
Each year, I learned more and more from my beautiful mom on how to decorate the tree, but I know my tree will never be as amazing as hers. Each year mom would give me more ornaments and my tree would get prettier and prettier! Now, I will proudly be the keeper of the heirloom ornaments that has been passed down to me. I do miss a real tree smell, but mom's artificial tree is just as beautiful and I can leave it up as long as I like. I don't have as many lights on my tree as mom had on hers, but that's ok, less to take down! We are all decorated here, ready for Christmas and enjoying the beauty of my Christmas tree.
I always loved going home to mom's for Christmas . She would have two trees, one in the family room and one in the formal living room and would always be anxious to see them. Christmas was always special at mom's and I would feel like a kid again and it's as if you were walking into a home in Germany. Now that mom has passed, I am hoping to keep her Christmas traditions and memories alive . . . she is all around us and I just sit and absorb the beauty of it all.
~ Happy Holidays ~
This post originally created for the Our Christmas Tree Memories on the
With the passing of my Mom and Grandmother in 2010, I
have made changes to the original 2009 post .