Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Grab a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of Christmas cookies, for this is going to be a long tour...
My Christmas tree is not about the perfectly spaced coordinating ornaments,

although I certainly LOVE that type of tree...

My tree is a memoir of my life...

My parents, grandmother, brother,

my children, my friends.

It's a record of years gone by, right down to the boxes and the ribbons

that I have used year after year...even the tags are reused every year.

Sometimes I get lucky and find a new box to add to the collection.

What's THIS? What's THIS?

Could my BFF neighbor Gail be getting a little something from Bellafine?

My grandmother, Lillian Vail Luckey, was born on December 12, 1888 in New York City.

I have her birth announcement hanging on my wall. It is a letter from her father to his sister.

"Dear Sister Maggie: You may now congratulate yourself on having another niece. Miss Vail #2 arrived 11:20 last night. 10 lbs. Dark hair and eyes. Broad shoulders. STRONG LUNGS.

Annie is doing well and had a comparatively easy time.

With our united love,

Your brother,

Jonathan Vail

I have many of her ornaments, and although I do not know the exact ages of them, I do know that they are quite old.

I am blessed with a nice little set of lanterns.

I THINK this one is pre-WWII. It belonged to my parents. They married just before Daddy went off to war. They have been married now for 67 years and every bit still in love.

I received this one as a gift when I was 5. I thought it was magical.

My brother got this in Cub Scouts. It had a lollipop attached. I remember being ever SO jealous...and I accidentally broke off his back leg. I won't show that part; my cheeks still flush with embarrassment thinking of it. I put him on my tree each year for HUMILITY.

My brother made this snowball man in Cub Scouts. He is missing an eye and half his smile, but I have no ill-feelings towards this one.

Here is another VERY old ornament that belonged to my grandmother. The mouse represents the early years of Mommy's retirement when she took up crafting.
The heart and the candy-striped ornaments were Lillian's. I remember them as being my favorites as a child. The fuzzy little candy cane was also a favorite.

Ornaments to mark the birth of children...

Ornaments made by the children.

Ornaments to mark the turning of the century.

Ornaments from my early crafting years.

Ornaments from my brother. Once we became adults, we began the tradition of giving each other ONE ornament for Christmas. We started the tradition for financial reasons, with all the nieces and nephews to buy for, but I must say, it quickly became a cherished tradition. Gail and I have done the same thing for 20 years. Every year, when I put up my tree and carefully unfold each ornament from the tissue paper, it is like finding old friends.

Peculiar friends...

Pretty friends.

This star was added to the top of the tree just this year...I wasn't able to find a soldier ornament
to honor PV2 Ryan.

PV2 Ryan is on a plane this very minute,

heading out of Fort Hood.

PV2 Ryan will be spending Christmas in Iraq.

PV2 Ryan, I hold your heart in mine.

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