Bendable Branches.

We always had a real tree growing up. At least that's what I remember. One year we re-wrote the old carol after paying inflated prices for a half dead evergreen. My dad whined, so we sang about it.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
You cost us twenty dollars.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
We could've bought some collars.
For dee o gee...who likes to pee...upon the tree...oh my oh me.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
You cost us twenty dollars!!

That was back in the 80's. When 20 bucks was too much money for a tree; and before mom's glass ornaments. And yes...our dog's name was d.o.g. Dee.Oh.Gee. Emphasis on the Oh. He did indeed pee on our tree. Too many times.

Conan and I cut down our own Christmas tree at a farm for the first 5 or 6 years of our marriage. I don't actually remember what made us decide to buy the fake pre-lit wonder. I think it was the 75% off sale at Sears. I kind of miss hiking around in the cold with a saw and a toddler searching for the perfect tick free tree, but I can appreciate being able to bend the branches of our 8 footer so the light reflects just right off Conan's elmer's glue kindergarten ornament. Or so I can see Joey 2005 written in black sharpie on the tail of the green dinosaur.

It is all about the ornaments.

Conan is very nostalgic. He liked flashing blinking color lights. I liked still and constant white lights. So we compromised. Still and consant color lights. I would buy a new tree topper every year, trying to create the moment when Conan would look at our tree and sigh with deep satisfaction. He tried to like my toppers...but just didn't. Then one year, after an extensive tree topper hunt, he admitted he was looking for one like his mom had. An old blue-green finial topper.

So I asked Kay if I could buy hers. For the sake of Christmas.

She said no. Acutally, she said no way.

That Christmas, under his parents tree, was an identical old blue-green finial topper for Conan. She had searched and found one on ebay.

Deep satisfaction.

My mom's tatted snowflakes.
The broken glass stars.
The pipe cleaner spiders that made Joey cry.
The twig reindeer.
The clothespin reindeer.
The popsicle stick reindeer.
They can hang on fake branches all they want.

I will always treasure my alone time with our Sear's tree. Staring at the years and the minutes of memories being cradled by its wire branches. Captured in its still and constant lights are my family. And they'll be there next year. And the year after that. And the year after that.

And I can bend them any way I want.


wendy said...

Cool tree topper. It is amazing the things that we hold dear and nostalgic. My decorations have kinda changed once the kids have grown --but I have saved alot of their handmade things.

I am LoW said...

Great pictures! And fun post!

ShEiLa said...

You wanna hear about one of my Christmas trees? One winter Dad was out of a job and Grandma gave us an artificial tree. It was silver. It came with a lighted color wheel. As it shown on the tree the silver tree reflected the colored light and changed it's color. It was beautiful when I think back on the memory. But back then I thought... this tree is awful. I like the ones that smell of pine.

Alissa Nicolau said...

I am so happy I found you through mer mag! I've really enjoyed your posts there and your own blog has been a treat to read. Your photos are great in this post. Love the altered colors.

Merry Christmas,


Emma said...

so cute and so much fun to bring out every ornament and the memories.
Olivia and myself did our tree and i would show her the ornaments that were mine when i was little and then every one she pulled out after that little story was one that she had when she was a little girl!!! oh the memories

Crystal Copeland said...

How funny. I seriously considered naming my dog D.O.G. as well. I also liked "Peeve". But luckily for my dog I decided on Bailey. Love your photos!

Wonder Woman said...

My first homemade ornament is our tree topper this year. Spiderman made a silver and gold star in preschool yesterday. It makes us both happy to have it up there.

And as always, love the pics. Love the vintage look. (And constant, white lights.)

susan said...

That ending almost made me cry.

Stick to Blogger. That bloody Facebook won't let you write as detailed as this will.

That is a su-weet tree topper.

cally said...

Oh Susan. I don't get the facebook thing. I followed a link from an email and just started clicking stuff. Before I know it, I've got friends who wanna write on my wall.

I like to keep my wall tucked in my flat pants, thankyou.

Someday I'll figure the face thing out.

Lori said...

Great photos! And I'm jealous of your already decorated tree. Very nice!

AndyPandyJackaDandy said...

I am so jealous. Since we are hoping to move in less than 2 weeks, we have opted to suspend Christmas decos until we get into our new place. It's pretty depressing, really. Especially when I see these shots. Maybe we'll decorate our fake Walmart "tree" that is a permanent fixture in our living room. Thanks for the inspiration--and sweet for the tree topper! I am still in search of one that I like.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. So sweet. Also,I think you should do facebook. It's like a collection of friends, all in one spot. And you can have both, you know. Blog and facebook. I loved that a bunch of people wanted to be my friends right away. That never happens. You must be way cooler than me. Also, facebook takes very little time, but you can see me!

Lindsey Rose said...

WOW! Those picts are great! How did you make them look old? Great tree though, I am all about the classic random ornament tree! Forget fancy stuff. I love the D.O.G. story too soo funny!