Link to 13 pages of Christmas clipart for your use HERE



I've always had a large, live Christmas tree...just always wanted to. The only year I didn't was when Carl

had his open heart surgery on that November 21st and I didn't want to struggle with one all by myself, so

I had three small (only a yard tall each) at various heights in a corner with a different theme for each. Last

year, our first in our new location, we had a tall, real tree, but this year, I don't know if it is because of my

brokenness or what, I just couldn't get interested in Christmas trees at all.


CHRISTMAS 2008 (That's a link to last year's Christmas decorations here)


Vaguely, I checked out a few artificial trees but none of them said 'real tree-like' to a degree that suited me.

Then I stumbled upon this guy. This is a Fraser fir, my very favorite sort of Christmas tree, and I've had quite

a number of great real ones of those. It is made from actual molds of Fraser fir branches with their special

needles. It was $600, way beyond what I'd ever spend on a tree, but they had one undecorated except for

white lights floor model they let me have for less than a third of its cost. So...suddenly I was into Christmas

trees again.


When I was a kid, my mother always bought these tiny little trees she'd get at the grocery store. They'd

have rows of them for sale up high on the flat area atop the shelves. They were maybe 2 1/2 to 3 feet

tall and came with an enclosed base that had some sort of liquid in it. The Christmas I was in the 4th

grade, we had moved from Charleston, SC north to a suburb of Boston and that year we had our first

large, live tree...which was a wonder and a delight to me. After that, though, she went back to the tiny

grocery store ones for the next several years. Anyway, the first year I was grown and married and

living in Indianapolis, I had a big, live tree again. I had no ornaments for it and went out and bought

several boxes of those plain shiny balls in various sizes. The next year I was pregnant with my first

child when the Christmas season started (Allan was born Dec. 21st) and my mother flew up to be

with me. One day she and I were shopping in a big department store in downtown Indianapolis and

she bought me my first...different...Christmas ornament. It was white with red and blue stripes and

some gold trim. I hung it front and center on my tree and it stood out blazingly with its surrounding

plain, shiny balls.


I still have it....and here it is in 2009:


It's obviously been a LONG time since I had only plain, shiny balls! You can also see how realistic

the tree needles are. The branches are strong, too, and hold ornaments well. I've had white pines

that were a bust as far as holding ornaments. Once when I was a teenager and we had one of our

rare South Carolina snowfalls that was fairly deep, my father, his axe, and I set out to walk around

our farm so he could cut down one of our trees to use. He picked a cedar, which didn't work well

at ALL, as its branches were ever so weak. But that was my first time to go out and cut down a

tree. Several times since I've been married to Carl we have gone out with Laura, her husband and

whatever kids were born then, taken a hay ride out into a big tree farm and Carl has cut a tree for

us to use.


Anyway, I took some more close-ups of this new tree:


This is the first Christmas ornament I made myself and I made it in Indianapolis 42 years ago. Parts of it are

missing now, but I find it still usable.



The star on the far left with the red edging was the star I used on that first Christmas tree in Indianapolis.

It used to light up and did so for 15 seasons. The middle piece has broken out long ago, so I use wires

now and pop one of the regular tree bulbs through the broken spot. My friend Darcy has the most

exquisite tree, not as tall as this one, but with branches cut out so she can hang her marvelous ornaments

deep inside it. DARCY'S DECS HERE



This is on one of my living room window sills and is the old, plastic white church my grandmother had

year after year atop her low, mahogany piano. She really liked it and when I see it now it connect me

to her at Christmas. That's the tree lights reflecting in the windowpanes.



The red star is one of the very few ornaments I have from those little trees my mother used to put up.

The little red building is the only piece left of the set of little paper buildings she used to have to make

a small village under the tree. Now I just set it atop branches.  The red bird I've had for countless

years now. That's a chandelier behind it.




I haven't wrapped presents yet, but I have some fancy boxes I put under the front of the tree to give it the look of that.






The wise man is one of a big set of flat, wooden ornaments I painted back in the apartment we lived in

when we first moved to Washington, DC in 1970. They are painted on both sides and took me a long

time. There's a green Christmas tree that's part of the set just showing at the far right edge. The angel

at the bottom is from 1988 and not a part of those.




I like to have the word 'Hope' here and there on it (far left border) in honor of the little girl Laura

miscarried between Joey and Emily. We named her Hope and it's my way of including her in.



The flat gold bell toward the left between the snowflake and the gold angel has the date 1975 on it and

a picture with my grandparents and mother in it. Pearls have a special significance for me and so I like

to have some pearlish ornaments, too. The tiny purple ball is one of a handful that remain from those

original ones. All the big and middle-sized ones are long gone but I still have a few of the tiny ones.






The other windowsill. I love the reindeer hugging the tree and the tall tree-girl.



The Big Ben is new this year.






These big lighted snowflakes are also new this year. The four red angels in the windows were bought for

me in Atlanta when I was an older teenager by my Grandmother.



More fancy boxes under the tree.




These are tree toppers but this tree is too tall so all three are just sitting on the floor near the tree.



This is my dining room window with its amaryllis. My friend Darcy had red bell lights on her porch last

year and I got these at an after-Christmas sale because I liked hers. They play 25 different Christmas songs

or you can just have the lights on and keep them silent.





Little ceramic village on the dining room table. The greenhouse lights up as does the tree seller's place.




Three big, golden wise men on the square coffee table not far from the tree.



This is blurry, but it shows the wise men in relation to the tree and also the big, clear star that's on the table with them.