Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our Christmas Tree Tells a Story

I have always sorta wanted one of those beautiful Christmas trees you see in magazines where everything matches and it just looks so stunning.  Many of you also have gorgeous trees and you manage to incorporate both purchased and homemade ornaments and make it look great.  I have so many handmade ornaments that ours is always a mix of colors, styles, and patterns and ends up looking, well... like the tree I grew up with. 

We got the tree up in the mountains and despite cutting it again after we got home, it barely fits in the house!

We all have our favorite ornaments from years past.  There are the ones the kids have made, ceramic mice that I painted before we had children, wise men and nativity characters painted by a close friend, crocheted ornaments from my mother and grandmother.  There are old store bought ornaments from my childhood tree, and some which my husband and I bought back in 1975!  (thankfully, most of the straw people have moved on).  Each one tells a story and some are fun to make too.  I wanted to show you a glimpse of our lives through these ornaments and hopefully inspire you to create some (more) of your own memories.

The picture ornaments of my kids was started by their home daycare mom.  I will be forever thankful to her for doing this.  These have become so precious now that the kids are older! 

If you would like to start this tradition, these are really easy to make. Save up the tops of your frozen juice cans. Rinse them well and then simply cut a picture to fit, use ric rac or lace, glitter and a ribbon to hang and glue it on with a hot glue gun or even super glue! It is done in minutes but lasts a lifetime. It is so much fun that kids even like to make their own! These work as great gifts for kids to give to their grandparents too.

 My daughter at halloween age 8 and this year decorating the tree. 

 Add the name and date to the back on a piece of tape or a sticker

 My son as a baby

My daughter as a baby and my mom (my mom made this one and simply used ric rac
and put a hole in the lid to hang.

When my kids were 10 and 2 years I bought some clear glass ornaments and let them choose two colors of acrylic paint for each ornament.  Just remove the lid, let them squirt in some of each color paint, and then have them roll it around to coat the sides.  Turn it upside down to dry over night (an empty egg carton works well for this) and reattach the hanger.  These came out really nice and are suitable for young kids too.  Although, I think I would try for the acrylic or plastic ornaments rather than glass if I were you!  It was pretty stressful helping a 2 year old to hold it "lightly". 

It's even ok if it doesn't completely coat the glass! 

I used to paint ceramic ornaments and I even had the kids paint some of their own too.  These also go on the tree.  My favorites are the little mice. 

 My friend painted  the 3 wise men, Joseph, Mary and Jesus

 My mom painted  different colored teddy bears for the kids

 One of the better ones my daughter painted (she was a bit older when she did this one!)

 A santa I painted along with a few of the old "vintage" ornaments from our very first tree!

My favorite of the mice ornaments

 My grandmother crocheted these by using the round plastic pop can holders to crochet around.

My mom made a few sets of these for my sister, a friend and I.  She did a wreath, a bell, a star and the snowflake.  I think this one is my favorite.  So delicate. 

Here are a couple that were made at school or Christmas parties

This one is really old

Our Angel has to duck her head this year

I think the best part of having all these handmade ornaments is having something to remember the special times and people in our lives.  Both my mother and grandmother are gone now, but we think about them every year when we are decorating the tree.  These are ornaments that will definately be handed down in our family. 

Well, there is a little tour of our tree. What special ornaments do you put on your tree?

Linking up at Shabby Chic Cottage
House of Hepworths

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have lots of ornaments too - in fact we can decorate 5 trees if we're really motivated. Only 4 got installed this year. I have 2 favorites.

One is a little eggshell ornament that my girl scout leader made for me as a Christmas gift when I was in middle school. She loved making pretty little things and some of the girls would get together at her house occasionally to work on crafts.

The other is a sweet angel in a red gingham check dress. It was a gift to my mother (at about 24 years old) from her neighbor at the time. I was just a little tyke and my brother was barely a toddler. But I do remember the neighbors slightly. My mom loved them and she always loved that angel.

Your collection warms my heart!


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