Sunday, 4 December 2011

An Eclectic Mix

It’s the first Sunday in December so it must be time for Storytelling Sunday.  As it’s the pre-Christmas season, let’s go get ourselves a glass of warmed mulled wine while I get myself organised.  Can I interest you in a mince pie too?  Freshly baked and still warm, that’ll get us in the mood!

It’s also the day after the Eclectic Keepsakes crop and boy what a fun filled action packed day we had.  Not one – not two – but three fab classes, festive cupcakes, and boxes with little chocolate surprises inside.  So while I think of a story to tell I’ll show you what we did in the first class.  Now this would be an excellent way of doing an abridged version of Journal Your Christmas.  A double paged layout by Debbie Jewell – a countdown to Christmas. 

 P1020977 P1020978

P1020976

Each number had a little acetate pocket attached so you can either slip a small photo from each day inside it or add a few words of journaling – brilliant!  As the background was on gridlined paper, the instructions read a little bit like a crossword puzzle – 1 across and 2 down …

So the story then.  Well.  It’s about this time of year that we start thinking about putting up the Christmas tree.  And I have a trio of clear memories about that from when I was younger.  Mum loved to decorate the tree and was very particular about the size and shape.  Had to almost touch the ceiling once the fairy was on the top and had to be a proper triangular tree shape.  She would pick out the tree from the local greengrocers and then me and my dad would walk into town at the weekend, collect it and carry it home.  It was about a mile which is long enough when carrying a spiky, unwieldy tree.  One year it seemed to become particularly heavy; I was in front carrying the top end and Dad was behind me in charge of the root end.  Only when I turned round to see if he was walking as fast as me as it seemed to be dragging from his end, I saw that he had let go and was eating a pear from the bag of shopping we had also picked up from the green grocers.  I was not amused!

Then there was the year that we brought the tree home, put it into it’s bucket of earth and left it in the lounge for the branches to settle while we went into the dining room to have dinner.  Only when we opened the lounge door later, the room was full of little flying insects that must have been in the branches and had come to life in the warmth of the house.  Mum was not amused.  The lounge had to be sprayed within an inch of it’s life with fly killer and you needed a safety mask and goggles to go in there.

There were set rules to the decorations, after Christmas each decoration was taken down and wrapped in tissue paper, the tinsel had to go in special paper to stop it tarnishing and the unwrapping of them the next year was part of the magic of putting up the tree.  Little chocolates wrapped in coloured foil would be hung from the branches so that one could be unwrapped each day leading up to Christmas day and even the dog was catered for with little sugar mice tied onto the branches here and there.  There was one year that we spent ages decorating the tree, admired it from inside the lounge, went outside to see how it looked through the window and once we were satisfied that everything was just so, we went into the other room to watch tv.  Probably the Generation Game.  Which was disturbed by a large crash.  We ran into the lounge to be met by a rather guilty looking dog, covered in pine needles and tinsel with a sheepish expression on her face and a sugar mouse hanging out of her mouth.  Temptation had been too great and we must have tied one slightly too low and within her reach.  A slight doggy strength tug and the whole tree came down.

Does anyone else have any tree related memories?

22 comments:

Miss Smith said...

This made me chuckle, what brilliant Christmas tree memories! I love the one about carrying the tree home!

We always have a pretend tree. The same one we've had since I was born. But it's tradition and it does its job very nicely.

Merry Christmas!

Amy said...

Merry Christmas Deb!

Well, my Dad used to go down to the back paddock and lop a branch off a tree. Each year we would wonder what miserly little branch he would come home with, it has become quite a running joke as there were many a year where we had a gnarly little branch to decorate ... though, some of them were enormous - regardless, they all smelt beautiful!

Scribble Monster said...

Great stories :) I love the guilty doggie one best.

My beloved tree fell apart last year after many happy years and I absolutely don't love my new one, so it will only be doing this season!

Gem's Crafts said...

What lovely memories you've shared :) we always have an artificial tree, because when we were little we had cats and mum didn't like the thought of the cats hurting their paws on the fallen needles!

scrappyjacky said...

We had one year that we came home and found empty silver foil tree chocolates dangling everywhere....and a very sick looking dog!!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Great tales of Christmas tree fun, Debs. Your dog sounds like my cat this year! ;o) Merry Christmas to you, my friend!

heart.hearth.home. said...

I love a good story about a Christmas tree. And yours are cracking! Thank you for telling them.
Happy Holidays!

Sian said...

Deb, you know how much I always enjoy your tales and your contributions to Storytelling Sunday are much anticipated by us all, I think! Always very much appreciated. We always have a pretty big tree becasue we have tall ceilings - I don't think I'll ever forget last year when I realised that TTO was taller than the tree and practically lifted it under one arm and carried it home!

A Merry Christmas to you and yours Deb, and a wish for a brighter 2012 for you

Alison said...

Lovely Christmas tree stories Deb..we have prelit, artificial ones which I love...hopefully they will get decorated this week!
Alison xx

Jimjams said...

Lovely tale Karen.
We've never had a real tree - ever - always artificial. Our current one (about 25 years old) is getting rather threadbare in places but the kids don't want us to replace it as it's "special"!
Merry Christmas ♥

Maria Ontiveros said...

Those are great memories. We always had a fresh tree; I remember the neighbors with fancy artificial ones (those would be the RICH neighbors). I also remember the first Christmas spent with my husband and how he dragged a small tree home through the college campus for our little apartment.
rinda

Sandie said...

What lovely memories Deb. Specially the bit about you dragging the tree while your dad ate the pear! Good to see you yesterday, it was so busy I didn't get a chance to say a proper hello. Your pages look gorgeous, looking forward to finishing mine (hopefully before Christmas)!

Miriam said...

I smiled at the thought of your mum being so particular about the tree and it's trimmings, I understand completely because that is me! Lovely tree stories, Wishing you & yours a very Merry Christmas.

S said...

Oh what lovely memories of Christmastime. I remember removing the tinsel from our trees so it could be used again next year.

Cheri said...

Your stories just convince me that I'll stick with artificial. We have had the same tree for 26 years now! I can't believe it is that old. I grew up with artificial because Mom was allergic to pine.

Karen said...

I love the doggie story. David's brother is famous for eating all the chocolates from the tree when no-one is looking and he once came to our house on the 2nd December and when he had left we discovered that David's advent calendar had been plundered - all the doors had been opened the chocolates removed and the doors carefully closed to look as though they hadn't been interfered with!

Beverly said...

Loved each one of your stories, Deb! I can imagine the impish grin on your Dad's face when you turned around lol

Barbara Eads said...

What great tree memories. I don't really remember much about the "obtaining" of our tree---they were just there to decorate. But I do remember most of the 1960's we had one of those aluminum trees with the revolving colored light wheel. There was no decorating involved in that.

furrypig said...

I love Christmas trees and everything that comes with them. We have made it a tradition to choose a real tree together each year normally the first Saturday of December but DD was away yesterday so we still have to do it. The kids have a mini fake tree in their bedrooms and we have 2 bigger fake trees too! I am a big christmas fan! Have a happy Christmas xxx

Cheryl said...

My mum used to tell everyone every year that when my older brother was little mum had tied lttle chocolate elves to the tree and one day my older brother decided to eat all their feet as that is all he could reach, he never lived that down x

Gail said...

Love your Christmas tree stories Deb, especially the pear eating one. :) Oh how I remember carefully taking tinsel off so it could be reused the next year. Merry Christmas.

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

Great stories, especially the pear eating one! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas xx