Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar ~ Our Christmas Trees

Please note: This post originally ran for the Advent Calendar of Memories in  December of 2009 ~

Each and every Christmas tree I have ever had in my life has been decorated in true German tradition and always beautifully done by my mom!

Until mom and I came to the U.S. we never had our tree up until Christmas Eve because that was the German tradition, the tree is not put up until then. The "living room" in German homes is usually seperated by doors. On Christmas Eve, mom and oma would be up late decorating our live tree to have it 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 "Americanized". She would always put up a beautiful tall full live tree just after Thanksgiving and to this day this ritual continues. Mom is a master at decorating the Christmas tree as well as the entire house, her trees are amazing!

Until recently, we both have always had live 'Noble Fir' trees in our own homes. Now both mom and I have artificial trees, to see them you can not even tell they are fake, especially with mom's touch.

Mom's Artificial Tree and enchanting village 2008

Mom has German ornaments that are close to 50 years old. Now they have been passed down to me and they are on my tree today. I have the last of the real lead tinsel from Germany. I don't use it on my tree because of our little grand kids, but the individual strands are very heavy! Each tree would have over 2000 lights with angel hair in-between the branches.

My tree this year 2009, not as pretty as mom's but still pretty - looks better in person than in this photo!

This year, right after Thanksgiving, mom and I put up my tree. I learn more and more from mom on how to decorate the tree, but I know my tree will never be as amazing as hers. Each year mom gives me more ornaments and my tree gets prettier and prettier! I will proudly be the 'keeper' of these heirloom ornaments. I do miss a real tree smell, but my 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 has 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 love going home to mom's for Christmas . She has two trees, one in the family room and one in the formal living room, I cannot wait to see them. Christmas is always special at mom's it makes me feel like a kid again and it's as if you are walking into a living room in Germany.

Advent Calendar 2009


Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Gini - Your house must truly be beautiful at Christmastime!

Gini said...

Thank you Elizabeth, it very much is thanks to my mom who always made Christmas so beautiful and meaningful no matter what was going on in life. There were some hard times for her being a single mom but she always made our Christmas's bright. I hope to carry on the tradition.

Carol said...

Gina, what is the story behind the tree skirt?? Is it handmade??

Gini said...

Hi Carol~
Yes, the tree skirt was hand made by a very dear friend and neighbor many years ago. Sherri did an absolutely beautiful job on it. It's quilted and sewn perfectly. I have used it every year since. No matter how my tree is decorated, that skirt goes under it!

Amy Coffin said...

Such lovely trees! Thank you for sharing a bit of your family tradition.

Cynthia Shenette said...

Gini - These photos are so warm and inviting. I particularly like the photo of the mantel decoration. Thank you for posting this. Just lovely...