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Monday, 26 December 2016

The tree

Last week, two days before Christmas, we decorated the tree with our granddaughters. If not for the girls, we probably would not have had a tree this year. However, their enthusiasm and interest made us pull out the old artificial tree again this year. 

 

They did a great job; we left the tree the way they did it.

 

I remember when my grandmother lost interest in having a Christmas tree. She gave up the real tree first and bought a seven foot, silver tree on which she put the old ornaments, without the lights. As she aged and began to lose her memory, my uncle replaced that tree with a small table top one. While my uncle was alive, Nan had a Christmas tree, even when she didn't remember what it was. She enjoyed it though and pointed it out when you visited. 

Long after Nan was gone, my mother scaled down her Christmas tree too, from real to artificial at first. Then she had a table top tree which we coaxed her to use and decorate. She did so to please her family but she had lost interest in the festivities. 

Now, I know too. When we put up the tree for the girls, I thought of the women in my family and finally, I understood how they felt. When I was encouraging Nan to decorate for Christmas, I was a child caught in the excitement of the season. "How can you not have a tree, Nan?"

With Mom, I was in the child-rearing phase of life, caught in the flurry of life and events we create for and celebrate with our children. Nan and Mom had done that same thing, in the way common for their prime of life. As they aged, they went along with the decorating because they were part of our family and wanted to please us.

Our tree has some of the ornaments from family Christmas trees of years gone by.

 

The ornaments have been passed along, wrapped with care and used on various trees over the years. They have no monetary value but they tell their own story about the circle of life. In that way, they are priceless.

 

 One day, my daughter will understand too.

 
                                       The women in my family

32 comments:

Tabor said...

A lovely tree and a lovely baby. Perfect for the holidays and you are most lucky.

Anonymous said...

I love your thoughts on the Christmas tree! (And how sweet your granddaughters decorating...they did a beautiful job!) I remember when I was young. My grandma had a tabletop silver tree. I loved it! She was always sad and missing my grandpa and didn't feel like putting up the tree so we would go over and put it up for her and cheer her up! Good memories. Andrea

Shammickite said...

My artificial tree stayed in its cardboard box in the basement this year, because I am not hosting any Christmas get-togethers, and the only person who will get it out, carry it up the stairs, set it up, decorate it, and then have to put it all away again is .... ME! But I have lights of the tree outside and pretty lights on my mantlepiece and my Christams cards everywhere.... that's enough for me this year.
When I was a child we always had a real tree with candles on it! When we finally got elecricity installed, I remember the first string of Christmas lights my mother bought, I thought they were so beautiful!

Connie said...

What a beautiful tree, Marie! I am glad you have grandchildren to enjoy Christmas with, what a blessing!

Silver Willow said...

We have to have artificial; I'm allergic to fresh pine. Every year I question when we will size down our living room tree, but it wasn't difficult this year. We each have a small foot and a half tree in our two office, and I have one at work too. Love xmas trees! Then again, the home looks so neat and clean when they come down in early January... ;)

Elephant's Child said...

The tree photos are lovely. The final photo is the most precious ornament of them all. Multi-generational love.

Ginnie said...

I wouldn't change a thing on the tree either Marie ... your granddaughters did an amazing job. I am in the last phase now and you've described it perfectly Marie. I love the music but the decorating has become a chore.

Down by the sea said...

Your tree looks beautiful. My parents too gave up on Christmas trees too although just like your uncle we replaced it with a tiny one. Sarah x

Joanne Noragon said...

I think their tree is perfect. It's good to keep the spirit and traditions alive.

Celia said...

Lovely tree, makes me think of home!

Marie Smith said...

I had great female role models, Tabor.

Marie Smith said...

Missing spouses was part of it for Nan and Mom too, Andrea.

Marie Smith said...

I can't imagine candles on a real tree. Unimaginable today!

Marie Smith said...

The girls are such a blessing, Connie!

Marie Smith said...

I miss it when it's gone but I hate putting it up, SW.

Marie Smith said...

I had wonderful women in my life, EC.

Marie Smith said...

When the tree is done, I enjoy it, Ginnie. I hate the thought of doing it though, unlike years ago when I looked forward to decorating it.

Marie Smith said...

Table top trees seem like a great option now, Sarah.

Marie Smith said...

I like for the girls to know the traditions, Joanne. I think it gives them roots.

Marie Smith said...

Christmas trees can elicit great memories for some of us, Celia.

The Happy Whisk said...

Love that last picture.

This past summer I donated our big tree but kept the small one. I donated it because I didn't want to store something so big.

Anvilcloud said...

We only have a small, pre-lit tree now, but there are lots of other decs.

Marie Smith said...

I love that lasicture too. It's the only one I have of the four generations!

Marie Smith said...

Downsizing seems to be the way when it comes to Christmas trees as we age, AC.

DJan said...

We enjoyed everyone else's decorations, but we didn't put up any. I didn't miss them at all, but then again, there are no children around to care. Love your tree and little ones. Thanks for sharing them with me. And your decorations. :-)

Anonymous said...

Sad when the day comes and we must scale down. I love my little tree however.

Marie Smith said...

I wouldn't miss the decorations but I like them when they are up, Jan.

Marie Smith said...

I think it is a sign of transition in one's life, SS.

Barbara said...

That was nice to read. It made me feel like the decisions I made to simplify this year were right (for me).

Marie Smith said...

Do you miss the tree, Barbara? It must be strange at first, not having to decorate after a lifetime of doing it.

The Furry Gnome said...

For the first time this year we understand too. Now that our daughter and grandchildren love in B.C., we had a very quiet peaceful Christmas. Still have the tree, but who knows?

Marie Smith said...

It must have been quiet indeed without the grandchildren around, FG.