Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar ~ Our Christmas Trees

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

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 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 ~ 

blog divider

 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 . 


Cynthia Shenette said...

I love the icicles on the swag and the mantel. How wonderful to remember your mom in such a beautiful way.

FranE said...

Love your the picture of your trees. My daughter would fall in love with them too. Lovely that you are the keeper of the heirlooms.

Carol said...

Your tree and your blog are decked out beautifully!

Cherie Cayemberg said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I wish I had the knack for decorating that you and your mom had! Merry Christmas!

Sue McPeak said...

Thank you so much for sharing your Traditions for Christmas. What a special heritage you have. I think you have inherited the Spirt of Christmas from your mother as well as the beautiful tree and ornaments. I would love to see closeups of your ornaments...hint hint! Here's wishing you a special Holiday Season with your family and friends and especially in sharing your Christmas Traditions!

Oh! and your Bloggy looks very your Christmas Background!

Greta Koehl said...

You can really see how so many special touches make such a beautiful effect; your mother was a real artist and lucky you to have inherited her talent!

Gini said...

Thank you all! Luckily I took many photos of mom's Christmas tree and decorations through-out the house. I pull those photos up and attempt to copy hers! Not doing too bad so far but mom's home really had a wonderful warmth and feel to it. It would take her about three weeks to set up the entire house - she had two trees and every room had a bit of Christmas in it!

Gini said...

Sue, I am doing a "Mom's Christmas Tree Jewels" count down over at my photo blog ~ I hope to share one or two of mom's ornaments a day . . . for the month of December. The photos will be very up-close! I love your photos of your ornaments . . . it was you that inspired me . . . thank you!

The Path Traveled said...

So , so pretty! As I said on your other blog, your Mom would be proud!

Gini said...

Betty, thank you so much . . . I know she is smiling down on us and likes what she sees! I just realized there are a few ornaments I haven't added to the tree . . . off to fix that right now! Thank you for stopping by, Betty . . . I hope your December is starting off great.

ScotSue said...

I love your decorations, especially the village. We have very fond memories of holidays in Bavaria and always tried to come back with some German Christmas ornaments.