Monday, December 8, 2008

My Christmas Tree Ain't Got No Theme

The Magic of a themed Christmas Tree

My Christmas tree is not one of those beribboned beauties you see occasionally in other people's homes. It doesn't match the decor, doesn't say anything in particular about us - or does it?

Someone has a White Christmas theme going on here, but blue poinsettias? Pah-lee-az!

Our first Christmas tree was covered in newly purchased lights and colored glass ornaments and a pretty string of star lights that still lights up 38 years later. At least I think it does. I'll find out later today.

Kind of a Fruit Basket Thingie

Any hope - if I ever had hope for one, which I doubt I did, because I'm not a themey person, bit the dust on our second Christmas. My parents had moved to Florida earlier that year taking all of my brothers and sisters with them and leaving me all ALONE except for brothers Joe and Jim who couldn't make up their mind what they wanted to do so they camped out in baby Jennifer's nursery for several months with their shoes, the size of coffee tables, and themselves strewn about in the pretty little apple green and white room till they decided to go get some of Mom's home cooking so they moved too, leaving me really ALONE.

But that's not what this is about, having my entire family move to Florida and leave me ALONE. Well, of course I did have Jennifer, and the Mister, but when you grow up with 6 brothers and sisters and then your parents pack up the wagon and light out to Florida with them, you are ALONE. A-L-O-N-E. But they did send me the pretty felt orange (it is an orange -you know, the fruit, as in "we moved to Florida and you are ALONE but here's a pretty Florida orange -just a small reminder of where we are as opposed to where you are") ornament which I hung on our 2nd Christmas tree and still do 38 years later. I put it on the very bottom of the tree now. In the back. Because it still says A_L_O_N_E and I don't want that to be the theme of my tree.
You mealy-mouthed boot snatchers! So what if her tree ain't got no theme?

The next year they sent a little bird in a nest. It was very different from, but reminiscent of one they had on their tree for a zillion years with feathers on the tail and the slightly broken beak. So I put that on my tree along with the orange that might have well had A-L-O-N-E stenciled on the side.

Each year at Christmas we would purchase a special ornament for the tree and we often received others as gifts from family and friends. I especially love the blown glass and pressed glass ones - you can see right through them and they don't have the word ALONE stamped in flashing letters on the side of them.

So, as often happens when I sit down to write, without anything in mind at all, this post started to be about all the pretty ornaments we've purchased and received as gifts over the years. All beautiful shapes, sizes and colors that turn our tree into a wonderland of remembrances. And how I lift each out of the box and admire it and remember how it became part of our Christmas. And how I place it carefully on a branch so that each seems to have a specially chosen place of honor. And how I remember the kindness of those who know I love new Christmas ornaments. However, I seem to have unexpectedly gotten stuck on that other remembrance - the ALONE one. Go figure. But later today I will get back to remembering all the years since. The comings and goings of family and friends. The fun and laughter and the addition of a little sparkle to the tree each year. Until my fingers touch that fuzzy round ornament, wrapped in tissue - the one that goes at the bottom of the tree and a little to the back but not quite out of sight. Because ALONE is not the theme of my tree.


Poetikat said...

I'm like you, Museswings - I don't really have a theme. It's more of a mish-mash of stuff - I always put glossy red apples on my tree, and gold, cloth roses, and a few birds, and some glittery bits - the odd cat ornament (I have one of 4 cats singing, that I love), as per the Davison household (growing up), I must have some golden tinsel, BUT, I refuse to do that whole icicle thing because I was forced to hang them one at a time when I was a kid and it was so *boring*!!! (plus the cats just ate it and coughed it up in shiny little puddles...ewww!) So, no icicles around here, no sir.
I'm sorry you felt so ALONE, but at least now you've got your family, your friends and all of US to keep you company through the season.



P.S. This year I'm adding a lemony-scented car air-freshener, so little paws won't tear the tree down with a big "THUD" in the middle of the night!

Mim said...

Well...alone is a good theme NOT to have - I like the idea.

One of our first ornaments was a gift from someone at work who didn't read english and the ornament said "Baby's first Christmas". We had no children but I love that ornament, given from the heart and have kept it for the million years that we have been married.
Other than that - NO theme at all except love for each other (isn't that sappy?)

steviewren said...

Muse I have a themed is everything I have collected, received or made through the years. I love the colorful glittery mess of it all. Poor little fuzzy orange at the bottom back of the it's lonely!

I've been thinking, we need to organize a Christmas tour. Hmmmmm........more later about this.

MuseSwings said...

So, Kat you'll have a lemony tree and mine has that lonely orange on it!

I love your ornament story, Mim! How cute!

Ah Stevie - a theme tree of Stevie's wonders. It must be beautiful. I'll need a picture of that! A Christmas Tour sounds like a magnificent idea - let's work on that!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Mine is must be an A-L-O-N-E tree this year 'cause that's how I feel. Thought I'd be smart (feel free to laugh here) and bought a pre-lit tree then changed all the ornaments to store bought. All my previous ornaments were handmade (we've been married almost 30 yrs and the ornaments are the same age). We quit buying gifts. [sigh] This year for some weird reason I miss my family. They drove me *crazy* but I still miss them. Maybe I shouldn't have changed the 'theme'.

Let's do a Christmas Tour or travel to the North Pole! We need a nice diversion. :o)) ♥ ∞

Debby said...

Your tree has the same theme that mine. Life. My Christmas tree documents my/our life. I agree with Stevie. We should have a Christmas tour of our homes.

MuseSwings said...

Definitely a tour as Stevie suggested - perhaps we can all stay at Lavinia's Ice Castle at the North Pole - that would be a central point. I'm in need of help - I volunteered to assist Santa and I'm really getting bombed with requests.

nanatrish said...

That sad little ornament! Bless its heart! I guess I didn't realize that Lavinia had an Ice Castle, but I should have known. She may be off and getting it ready as we speak. I loved the one in Dr. Zhivago. Wasn't it sooo romantic?

Blicky Kitty said...

I love the Christmas tree tours idea! Count me in!

Hmmm poor sad orange. Might it take on a new identity if you glued wiggley eyes on it?

I hope Lavinia has some fur covers for the chairs because my tail always gets frostbitten when I stay in someone's ice castle.

Janeen said...

Wait a minute... don't you live in Florida? What's with missing your family that moved to Florida? You should come out to California to see your blogging friends and your darling daughter! We can have a nice Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista pub, then we'll do some fun site-seeing and finish with a lovely dinner!

A Christmas Tour! Oh I am so there! I'll help you, what would you like to delegate my way?

MuseSwings said...

Hi Janeen - I live here now - but it took me 22 years to get doen here. I need to come out there to CA! I miss my daughter and now I miss you too! What would you like to do for the tour? We had you on security detail last time - you kicked ass! Oops did I say that?

Devoted said...

Last year I had a themed tree. Green lights and green balls...BAD IDEA! I mean it looked beautiful in the store but ghastly in our house! The "greeness" of it almost blinded the entire family and frightened the dog! This year, I dontated most of those green balls and we are back to our mishmash of ornaments placed here and there in random order..of course, the ugly ones are in the back! But I like it, I like it a lot!

Our A*L*O*N*E ornament is a green ball hand painted in tribute to Jake and the US Army 787th MP Delta Dawgs of Company D.

As always great post and God bless

Nihal said...

Yes, the trend of decorating a Christmas tree around a 'theme' has become quite popular but I think it's important to begin by thinking of our family's personal tastes and also hobbies when creating a Christmas tree theme of our own. Can't wait for seeing your Christmas tours inside your world, do it please:)

Dave King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave King said...

All fingers and thumbs this morning. All I wanted to say was that it's stunning anyway, theme or no theme.

nanaflood said...

I too have that fuzzy orange ornament and the smooshed yellow bird in a nest on my tree again this year. I always smile when I place them strategically on my tree, think they are near the bottom this year too, and remember how pleased I was to receive the ornaments, as I too, was ALONE in Kokomo, Indiana, what a strange little town when you are first married and move away from that large family of tall brothers, big shoes, and bodies the heck did we all survive one bathroom. Anyway, I am so glad you mentioned your tree, you do have a theme, it is a gorgeous tree year after year. I find myself admiring your ornaments, is the Cindi themed tree every year. Hope that string of lights work again this year for you as your tree will twinkle away with love and caring given by you as you set up and decorate that tree. Hey you have any ginger snaps this year? Love ya.

Lily Hydrangea said...

being far from family during the holidays is always a lonely feeling. I'm glad you have such a good sense of humor about that memory!

MuseSwings said...

Love you too Nana Flood! Whenever I think of everyone moving off to Florida you get caught up in that mix in my mind - but there you were spending your first Christmas, a newlywed in KOKOMO - if you rearrange the letters of KOKOMO it spells REALLY, REALLY ALONE!

Humor is what gets me through things, Lily H.

Janeen said...

Ha Ha - This is how we say it... Kick azz, that way your not REALLY cursing.

I don't think security will be necessary on this detail, unless of course the decorations go missing on the front lawn or some bling-bling gets slipped into Lavinia's hand muffler. I'll have Pierce on stand by. Is that what they call it still? Those lovely white fluffy tube shaped things? Hmmm, can't remember but they are victorian looking.

Well count me in! Can't wait for the fun!

Janeen said...

By the way, we'd love to see you if you ever come out to California!