Just recently I had a conversation with a dear friend of my daughters who inquired about my love of “Christmas Trees”. That got me to thinking all night long about this quirk of mine and where it came from.  

  Most people are more than happy to have a single Christmas Tree to decorate and place their carefully selected gifts under each Christmas. It is usually only a “portion” of what makes the holiday special for them. For me it has long ago surpassed that meer “enjoyment” and has turned me into a candidate for a 12 step program!  

   My belief that “one is never enough” has led me to having 9 Christmas Trees from 8 foot tall to 2 foot tall,  that are decorated differently each and every year, as I am not only obsessed with the Trees but with the notion that they must be different year to year.  geeze just thinking about this now is exciting….  

   Each room in my home, in addition to the outside Lanai, and the front yard has one or more Trees for Christmas. From the 8ft, pre-lit beauty that graces my family room to the spindly “Charlie brown” trees that find their way to the front yard each one has a story and a memory attached to it that I can’t part with anymore than I could the Tree itself.  

   I think this obsession comes from my childhood, where being raised by Traditional Catholic German parents meant that our “family tree” was not put up or decorated until after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. As a small child I can remember the amazement and wonder at how that Tree just appeared Christmas morning. For years I believed that “Santa” had a special team of Elves whose job it was to put up and decorate Christmas Trees around the world.  ok so I was very gullible! As I got older it was the event that I think my Mother used to keep me in “check” during the church service, because the threat was always the same…”you misbehave in church, and you go straight to bed when we get home…no helping to decorate the tree” and I have to say it worked every time.  

Not the Original, but a great example of the "scary" ornaments Mom had.


   After Church, Dad would bring in the Tree and with Mom hovering just behind him offering what she felt was “helpful suggestions” he would spend at least 30 minutes cutting the base and adjusting the “stand screws” so that the tree would always be straight and its best side forward. Once Mom was happy with the “look” of the tree, the boxes  that held all the decorations, would start appearing out of the attic. There were some that I was not allowed to touch until I was well into my later years because they were irreplaceable, hand blown, painted glass, that were as thin a thread and delicate to handle. They had survived several trips to and from Europe over the years, but apparently my grubby little hands were a far bigger threat than the bouncing motion of a Navy Transport Ship.    

   The first thing that went on the tree was the lights. This too was Dad’s job, but one that Mom just could let him do which alone and that usually resulted in at least 2 hours of confusion and short tempers as hands got thrown in the air in frustration, lights hung on and off some of the branches and lay in puddles of illumination on the floor because each strand had to have ALL it’s bulbs tested first. The end result was always the same…A glowing tree, a disgruntled Dad and a Mom who “fussed” every time she went near the dang thing!  

  The second thing that went up was the “standard” decorations. The ones everyone else had on their tree because their Mom’s had been lucky enough to catch the great “after Christmas Sale” the year before. That would have been fine as it produced a beautiful tree, but Mom was not happy having one that looked like everyone elses.  

The third thing to go on the tree was all the “handmade” ornaments that she had either made herself, I had made during the summer as our “backyard craft project” or ones given to her by friends over the years. No matter how “ratty” or badly made they were, they too had a home on the Christmas Tree.  

This is almost exactly what ours looked like...deadly!


The last thing to go on the tree was this hideous looking pointed topper that looked like it had been the spire on some Russian Building in a prior life. It was so pointy and sharp it could have been used as a weapon. No traditional “star” or “angel” for our tree!  

When that was done it was time for bed. always seemed a bit crazy to me because it usually ended up being around 3am and as soon as the sun came up I would be running down the hall way, wide awake and anxious to see if Santa had delivered.  

Every year it was the same so by the time I hit my teen years it had become far less of a thrill and more of a chore. The magic had drifted away from my Christmas Tree!  

When I was in my mid twenty’s I was married and we had kids so Christmas took on a new dimension in our house. The tree was still my favorite part but now I had little hands to help with the decorating so we no longer did the “real” tree and opted for our first “fake” one so we didn’t have to worry about the girls trying to eat it.  

The Dining Room Tree in 2003


The beginning of December I set that little tree up in our living room and with a few strands of borrowed lights from my parents it started to look ok. Me and the girls spent a week making decorations for it out of Popsicle sticks, paper, bottle caps and anything else I could find. With a couple of bundles of sparkly tinsel ropes, our homemade decorations and the lights that little tree ended up looking like a million bucks!  

Our 9 foot beauty in 2003


It wasn’t until the girls were older and we had moved to N.C. that we bought our first tree. An 8 foot pre-lit beauty that filled the room, but we still had our “Charlie brown” tree and both went up every year.  

Years later when the girls were in their teens and we were now in Florida, my obsession with “trees” really kicked in and our forest began to grow. One I got from the local Winn-Dixie for $5.00 that was fully decorated (it was their display tree). I got another from 2 from a local store that was going out of business, another came from a friend that was getting a new one, we bought 3 for outside on clearance at Wal-Mart, we bought another that was “fiber optic” and on sale just a day before Christmas and I inherited one from my parents along with a set of 8 – 2 foot walk way trees.  

That gave me enough trees that I could put one in every room of the house,  the outside lanai and the front yard.  

The "Charlie Brown" tree, looking pretty good in 2003


Of course the hubby hides all the credit cards for a week after Christmas now, because he knows that is when I can find the best deals on tree’s and Nutcrackers….OH NUTCRACKERS…don’t even get me started on that obsession! LOL 

Failure to comply will result in legal action.

Posted on June 7, 2010, in FAMILY TIES and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I love christmas. When I had a house in Va., in the sunken room was space by the fireplace where I kept my tree up all year long. My tree has all Hallmark ornaments on it. Little kids loved it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s