This is a very self-indulgent post. My sister asked me for photos of the Christmas tree, but rather than emailing her, I thought I could make a blog post out of her request.
Not a bad looking Douglas fir from Oregon! It measures somewhere between 6 - 7 ft (1.82 - 2.13 m), and it is quite chubby. I have a ton of ornaments, but this year I decided to be moderate, and ended up hanging approximately half of them. There is an entire storage box still in the garage. Most of my favorites are on, though
As a Spaniard, I have very fond memories of the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos). These figures are made out of paper, and I love their faces, which remind me of the El Greco paintings
You won't find a whole lot of plastic on my tree. There is something special about homemade materials, like these cute felt creatures (although the ladybug has quite the sinister face)
Last year I participated in a crafts exchange at Crafster.org, and my trading partner, a lovely 18-yr old from Nebraska, sent me a trio of Kusudama balls. One was made from an old novel, another from a map, and this one from the pages of a magazine
This knitted stocking and a couple of other similar ones have been with me since college. I am not 100% sure how I got them. I want to say that the landlady from the apartment complex where I lived gave them to me
This ensemble is in honor of my husband's love for jazz music. The face of the drummer makes me laugh!
Of course, I could not possibly NOT have a cork ornament
Some ornaments have traveled a long ways, found by lucky friends in their exotic vacations, like this mistletoe paper cutout from Denmark
And like I said, there isn't a whole lot of plastic on this tree, but this is one of my favorite things: the Lifesavers garland. I bought it at Mac Frugals (now known as Big Lots) while I was in college. Perhaps the idea of trimming the tree with candy appeals to my inner 4-year old. The truth is I always look forward to hanging this garland. I love the fake sugar dusting on it, its bright colors, and how user-friendly it is. I have a love-hate relationship with garlands. They tangle. They slip. They don't want to stay put. So I am grateful for this one, flexible, colorful, tangle-proof, happy, silly.
So that's my tree.
There are many Christmas trees in my memory, but two stand out, and neither was very pretty, in the strict sense of the word. The tree we had while growing up was silver tinsel, and it looked like an uprighted bottle brush. When we moved to Spain, somehow the pole got lost, and my mom had a carpenter create a new one. I don't think the carpenter understood very well how the tree was supposed to look in the end, judging from how he drilled the holes for the branches. I should post a photo of it, for your enjoyment. We have tons of them. Every year we would snap a new photo, and my mom would ask if we were documenting the tree's growth.
The second tree I vividly remember is the one my friend Bert had for a Christmas party at his place. He was an exchange student from the University of North Carolina spending a year in Sevilla. I was a student too, thinking about going to college in the US. Bert bought a tiny artificial tree, no more than 2 ft tall, and at the party he handed everybody colored pencils and construction paper and asked us to create ornaments. There were many levels of expertise among us. Bert's mom said at one point, "I can't draw", which sounded odd to my English-as-a-second-language ears, because she was, in fact, drawing. I distinctly remember the ornament that our friend Marvin created, a little teddy bear, so perfect it looked professional. We also had a big bowl of popcorn, and we strung it into garlands, also a first for me. At the end, that little plastic tree looked beautiful, with its paper ornaments and the popcorn simulating snow, a touch of home for a whole bunch of American kids spending their first Christmas abroad.