Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Tree means to me....

When I was a little girl the family would load up in the car and head up North to find the perfect tree, which was usually somewhat lopsidey, but smelled fab.  Then we stopped doing that and moved on to buying at a local tree lot.  My parents are big Noble Fir people, and therefore, so am I.  I love the shape.  Point here is.....it was live tree or NOTHIN baby.  The smell, the look the feel, it was all dreamy.  And the thought I had was....fake trees are soooo LAME and sooo ugly.  And let's be honest, they have come a LONG way since the 80's.

Fast forward many years, the kids are all getting older, life is apparently more busy and burdened and there just wasn't time for no stinkin tree hunting.  So, my parentals moved on to a fake tree.  It was a BIG downer.  Maybe because the one they bought wasn't as big as they thought, so we always had to put it on top of a box, which was precarious at best.  Plus, no more pretty smell.  But, we still got it all decorated in all it's glory and it was lovely.

Fast forward MORE years, I'm married, out on my own and we live in a small apartment.  There is no space, nor no money to buy a big tree, so I get three adorable little trees that fit perfectly in the corner.

I decorated it with wee ornaments that matched the feel of the tree.

Then we moved into this house and were blessed with a beautiful FAKE tree from my MIL.

A picture of the tree last year  and one from this year.  I must say, I enjoy my bookshelf there now...makes the room feel more anchored. But that's niether here nor there in this story.  Moving on.......
It's so hard to get a good picture of the tree, because the lights either make no appearance or over light.  Plus, it sort of looks like a hot mess this way, but I promise, it is really pretty.

Point is, I'm ok with the fake trees.  Though I do miss the smell of the real ones, I don't miss the pain of watering them, having to put lights on them and the mess of needles.

As we ALL know now...I love tradition.  I love to hold on to old things for their sentiment and memories  and there are some special ornaments on my tree that bring back such fond memories for me.

My Mom made each of us kids one of these horses in 1979 as our decoration for the tree.  Some were red, some were white.  I loved these little clothespin horsies, and I treasure mine and put it in a place of honor each year.  You know, come to think of it, we used to get new ornaments every year, wonder where all the rest of mine are?  Hmmmmm

Jere bought me these little nativity ornaments the first Christmas we were dating.

I have a thing for angels, a carry over from my Moms tree.

This was given to me by a church member in Indiana, where I served my mission.  She made it herself, and I just love it.

This was given to me Christmas morning by another church member in Indiana. And at some point, right after opening this and our other presents I got extremely ill and spent the rest of my Christmas looking gree and living in the bathroom.  It was awful.  But, on the upside this is still one of my favorite ornaments.

Many years ago I sang for my friends Andrea and Taras Grandfathers funeral.
As a thankyou they made me this angel ornament.
I love her.

Also many years ago, in another lifetime it seems; my friend Jen made this ceramic angel ornament.  It reminds me of another, simpler time in my life.

On my very first Christmas away from home, as a missionary in Indiana, I was struggling with some homesickness.  One day a big box arrived, and in it was a sweet little mini Christmas tree with decorations on it.  My Mom had sent me Christmas in a box.  This sweet little drum was given to me by a member in my first area and I proudly placed it on my sweet little tree.  I have carried this drum around with me for the last 15 years.

The Christmas before we got married Jere took me back to Chicago to meet his Gramma and extended family for the first time.  Truth be told, I really love his little town he grew up in.  There is a great craft store that was by his Grammas house and I would hit that place up after Christmas for their sales.  I bought these little mittens that first Christmas and they always remind me of the wonderful trip.

Each year we pick out a new family ornament and I absolutely love them.
Well, except the Christmas tree one I got between these two, I don't love it.
Can't wait to see what we find this year.

Now I'm ready to start a new tradition of taking the kids each year to pick out their own ornament.  I love all the wonderful memories that each ornament invokes.  And I'm quite sure each of these ornaments will continue to make their way onto our tree every year for as long as we so shall decorate.

What are some of your favorite ornaments or Christmas memories?  And why?

Shiny balls and twinkly lights,


P.S.  I've lost TWO followers in the last 2 weeks.  What is up with that?  Merry Christmas to you too.  (for the record, I'm not sitting here crying over it, or super lamenting.  It just makes me wonder, that is all)

P.P.S.  Totally fell asleep on the couch last night, makeup, bra and all.  I feel gross right now.  Off to shower it up before this busy day begins.

P.P.P.S  Jers car is FINALLY fixed, thanks to an amazing new neighbor that is mechanically inclined and charged very little.  Yay for Christmas miracles!  Came just in time too, as he starts a new part time job, plus rehearsals for his new show, and will be needing his own wheels a lot this month.


Dixiechick said...

I have to inform you, first of all, that you are incorrect about mom & dad being big "douglas fir" people. They were/are in fact Noble Fir people. I had this exact conversation with Shane last night as we left the Christmas tree lot with our Douglas fir (since they are the cheapest) and I was lamenting how my parents always got Noble firs and I wished we could too. Secondly, I think it would do you good to care less about who follows you or not. Don't waste any emotional energy on those that don't. The people that matter most do, and that's all that really matters. :) Love you.

Kristina P. said...

I totally agree about the fake trees. We only had real growing up, but the first year I was married, we were given a fake tree. And I love the ease of it.

jen said...

I remember your three little tree Christmases. How times have changed.
And I'm still following. What? Dixie and I and Tucker aren't enough for you?

Allyson & Jere said...

Dear Dixie,

I went back and forth in my head about Noble vs. Douglas. In fact, I even wrote Noble first, and then second guessed myself and wrote Douglas. LAME!

Secondly, I'm not over here crying or curled up in a ball over these people leaving. It merely makes me wonder why, and who it was. That is all. I just felt like mentioning it. I know those that really matter are still here and always will be. So thank you very much.

Lastly...i'm sorry you had to get a Douglas Fir, as I know those are not my fave shape. But I understand...trees is expensive.

alison said...

i grew up a "real tree" kinda gal. and then austin's mom gave us a fake tree for our house. i loved it....no stringing lights, no watering (side note....when i was in college, i actually killed a cactus that my roommate and i had on the back porch because i forgot to water it. exactly how long does it take to dehydrate a cactus???), and all that jazz. but i DID miss the smell. last year was our first Christmas in a house with 4 ft ceilings, so we sold our super tall skinny tree and went out to buy a real one. i don't think i'll ever go back to fake again. i just can't. going to get the decorations today so i'll have to look at my ornaments and reminisce over them all. both of our parents gave us all of our old ornaments so i'm thinking pretty soon we'll have to have a kid tree and a mommy/daddy tree!

Greg and Tammy said...

What a cute post. All of your memories associated with different ornaments are really what make the tree special.

We keep saying that we will get a fake tree... to avoid all the obvious problems and expense every year... but every year we just can't seem to break. We got our noble tree this year and the smell is fantastic.

LadyCarma said...

I was so into the "real tree" as that is what I grew up with. I loved the smell. But we lived in a place and time where we could go for a drive in the pickup with our axe and cut our own tree. It was free. When I got married, we continued our families traditions of the real tree. Then one day, early 80's I had such a bad cold and cough EVERY Christmas time, and it would go away, as soon as I took out the "real" tree, I asked my husband to allow me to try a fake tree the next year, so I bought a nice fake one in an after Christmas clearance. No more colds or coughs at Christmas time. I was allergic or sensitive to the pollen. So fake it is!

WhisperingWriter said...

I grew up on fake trees so that's what I use. Maybe one day I'll try out a real one.

Andrea said...

Allyson I had no idea just how sentimental you are. You learn something new everyday! I on the other hand am not. Like I have told you before I get tired of things and get rid them and am very excited to start new again. Isn't it funny how different we are, but yet we have been good friends for so many years...30 some odd years infact. I love it. Thanks for all the memories! Sure love you!


DianD said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Yes, we were indeed noble fir people and though I miss the smell, too, I don't miss the mess, needles, etc. I can't figure out why, but it seems more difficult every year to find the time to decorate the house. Here it is almost the 8th and I'm only half-way there. My favorite things, the nativities, are still packed in boxes downstairs! That's sad! Maybe tomorrow! Dana's birthday. Traditionally the day to cut/buy the tree. Music...I still love the music! Music and decorating go hand in hand.

Melissa said...

you just got another follower. I'm not sure exactly what it means, but I'm there. Are you smiling?

The Atomic Mom said...

We used to go cut down our own tree as well. I just found out you can do that here, so next year...we're totally going to do that! I always look for the Charlie Brown tree on the lot...serioulsy, I love a Charlie Brown tree.

sotheywillalwaysremember said...

This year I am going both ways... we have one fake one and one real one. (out other real one is one of the things that is stuck in California) anyway, I have to say the benefit of the pre-lit fake one is huge!! Putting lights on the real one made me crazy! Then, the whole trying to remember to water it so that I don't have a fire hazard is also wearing on me! I keep looking at it thinking 'hmm, we might have purchased that real one a little too soon, especially because it's FREEZING here so I have the heater on all the time! Anyway, my point is... I am all about the artificial, pre-lit, no watering, stronger branches (able to hang heavier ornaments) trees!
Oh and I also wanted to say thanks for always coming over to my blog and leaving comments!

lexlocilori said...

Yay for your tree! I just never understood the idea of putting something that could catch on fire and then tossing lights on it and feeling good about it, but then my house burned down when I was in 6th grade : ( And I have lost followers too. Whatever!

Grace Adams said...

I was a fake tree girl of many years until last Christmas, when my Frontgate trees gave up the ghost. They'd lasted for 7 years, so I can't really complain. But I didn't want to buy new ones because I was planning to move to Florida, and who wants to haul one thing more than they have to? But I didn't have a good way to get a real tree home, so I went online and found a tree farm that would ship to me. The only problem was that they WAAAAYYYY overestimated the size of their trees. The 6' tree I ordered was my height, and let's just say I'm not much taller than a Munchkin.

This year? No tree. I'll be in Atlanta with my kids, and no one will know my Florida home is treeless.

I know. I'm Scrooge's stepmother.

Simoney said...

wow my eyes popped outta my head when I saw your beautiful FAKE tree! THAT's what I call a great tree. And like you I love to collect ornaments over the years that attach to memories. I have a bunch that I embroidered when I was 11. They used to grace our family (fake) tree, and when i got married my mum gave them to me. Last years i made one each for the kids and they decorated them with jewels and hot glue. I LOVE Christmas! merry Christmas to YOU!

(Oh and I KNOW about the losing followers thing! I have lost two, gained two. Obviously not the same two... but I say WHY? What did I do? I tell myself they were just culling their excessive unreable blog lists, nothing personal... but still. Yeah. Merry Christmas to them too!)

Tara LaRue said...

Just an FYI, Andi and I didn't make that ornament. I have the same one hanging in my house. My grandma gave it to me because she said I sounded like an angel singing at Grampa's funeral. I believe she gave you that angel ornament for the same reason. It's one of the things I cherish the most. Love you dolly!