Saturday, December 06, 2014

Rev Gals Friday Five (a day late)---O Christmas Tree!

Five for the Christmas tree! 

1) Real tree, or “fake?”
For most of my life, it was real trees only. Then my son developed asthma…and it was artificial trees for many years. Now I don’t actually put up a tree at all—mainly due to the lack of space in my apartment. I do put up a crèche and other decorations, I just don’t have the floor space for even a small tree.

2) White or colored lights?
Coloured, absolutely. I admire the beauty of all-white lights on a tree (and agreed, they are more candle-like) but I love the warmth of all the colours, red, blue, gold, purple, blue, orange, green, reflecting on the pine needles and the ornaments.

3) When do you put up and take down your tree?
It went up the second Saturday of December, usually, depending on other events (holiday parties, concerts, visitors, etc.). I hope to get my Christmas decorating done today, if I can get the sermon done and quit procrastinating .
Take down was usually New Year's Day or the Saturday after, when I was growing up. As an adult, it usually stayed up until around Epiphany--especially since my son's birthday is the day after Epiphany and we usually needed the space for the birthday celebrations.

4) Tell us about your favorite ornament (share a picture, if you can).
There are three, actually. One is a blue satin star with “icicles” that I bought at a craft fair when I was still at university. It was a couple of months after my then-boyfriend had proposed, and so it was the first thing we bought for our life together. The second is one my son made at daycare one year—a photo of him in front of a Christmas tree, encircled by a snowflake he had coloured. He was, I think, about 3 at the time. He is 25 now… Finally, a Corgi ornament, complete with scarf, given to me the year Morgan the Wonder Corgi joined our family. I miss that dog terribly and would love to own one again…the ornament reminds me of him and brings back some great memories of him at Christmas—lying under the tree, grabbing cookies someone unwisely placed on the coffee table within his reach, bouncing through the snow like a rabbit….

5) What goes on the top of your tree (again, share a photo, if possible)?
As a child, it was a steeple. Later, it was the blue star from #4. More recently, I have a lovely folk-art tin star. One of these days I will have a tree again and it will go back up.

Bonus: Are there traditions about decorating your tree that you’d like to share?
The German pickle! In the German tradition, a pickle (ornament) is hidden on the tree by the parents (I think it is supposed to remind us that life is sometimes sour, but I could be wrong). The child who finds it gets a treat. I have a heavy blown-glass one that I love.
Edited to add: I checked this out online and there seems to be a belief that this is new and not German at all. However, I can vouch for pickle ornaments of all kinds back in the early 1980's (when I lived in Germany) and German friends having them on their trees as well. It was not new to them!

When I was a kid, the whole family (well, whoever was in town) would get together, have eggnog or hot chocolate, and decorate the tree—in a very specific order (lights, bead garlands, steeple, clip-on ornaments, rest of the ornaments, icicles), while we listened to (and sang along with) Christmas carols. Last of all, the white sheet would go around the tree stand to stand for snow. 

No comments:

Clarence Darrow--Beyond Scopes and Leopold & Loeb

Personalities fascinate me--people do. One way I try to understand history and places is through people--which is why I love good histor...