Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Tree Is Up With 34 Years of "Stuff"!

Here it is!

I always love my tree.  After 34 years of putting everything possible on it, it's hard to find places for stuff.  And, I do mean everything.    In addition to the homemade ornaments, the store-bought ones, and the gifted trinkets, we have the cheap plastic giveaways from all kinds of companies including Ponderosa Steak House, Life Savers, the Energizer Bunny, M & M's, and last year's coke bottles shaped like ornaments.

Any little colorful treasure that made its way into the house at Christmas time including fast food restaurant giveaways got a ribbon on it and was slapped up on the tree.  Small toys that had been outgrown during the year are there and even a rubber chicken.   All the outgrown dolls and stuffed animals ended up in the Christmas boxes and grew to the point of not needing a tree skirt.  You couldn't see it under all the stuffed animals anyway.

Taking a picture of any portion of the tree will turn up a strange collection like this.  The handmade thing with a hat has a smiley face on one side and a frowning one on the other.  Who could resist that at a craft fair?  The blue at the top is one of those clear glass balls with acrylic paint rolled around inside.  I absolutely have to do those every year.  The Chinese doll is something my sister brought back from Chinatown at least 20 years ago.  I couldn't figure out what to do with it, so it went on the tree.  Peeking out from the side is the crafty little box sewn together using yarn with a pompom bear inside.  Those were popular about 20 years ago.  My oldest son made the sled in school.  Notice the very Christmasy colors of black and white.  You will see that this inability to get that Christmas things might be in Christmas colors is something that none of my kids ever understood.

Before we home schooled, my kids would buy things at a little fair the elementary school set up.  Students had a special day to buy items at special prices as gifts.  Here are a few of the things my kids brought home.

Yes, those are the traditional orange, blue, and yellows that we all put on the tree, right?  How about this one.
He paid for this!  Frankly, I was used to strange things coming from these craft fairs by the time these two trinkets were proudly carried into the house.  My daughter started the tradition of strange things with this item:
Who sells this stuff to unsuspecting children?  I've had this for over 25 years now, and I still laugh until I cry looking at it.  I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face.  You know the worst part?  She liked it so much she bought two of them.  Yes, for 25 years I've had two of these 7 to 8 inches long and about 4 inches wide dangling from my tree.

By far the most bizarre item has to be this one. 
It is some kind of imitation stained glass on plastic glued on a sawed off cardboard oatmeal container.  Believe it or not this side looks better than the other.  I have no idea who made this stuff or why the school foisted them off on my kids. I know these were not made by students at the school.  The idea that no more would get into the house may have been in the back of my mind when I decided we'd home school.

My kids contributed their share of strange things, too. This "ornament" is about 5 by 8 inches.

Kyle gave me this for Christmas.  The F K had me momentarily stunned, but it turned out to be, "To Mommy from Kyle."

Fortunately, it's a big tree and crowded to the point that it is hard to take in all the individual oddities without working at it.  I'll bet you didn't even notice the rubber chicken.  Oh, yes.  It's on there. 


  1. Haha! What a fun tree! I used to be all about having the perfectly coordinated tree. Now after having my son and having the joy of seeing it all through the eyes of a toddler, I have a new found love for the "family" tree. I even let my husband put up bright multi-colored lights last year. The first time ever!! Those sentimental ornaments are pieces of your family, precious memories brought out each year to commemorate your life together. LOVE IT! Much better than the best coordinating store bought glass balls and glittery ribbon any day!

  2. Love your tree! That rubber chicken is too funny. Thanks for posting this as you've now got me in the Christmas spirit. I'm ready to put up my tree this weekend.

  3. Hello from Elke in Florida. I love your tree and my favorite ornament is the FK to mommy. That is soooo cute.

  4. What a great Tree! We have a tree similar to this, and things get put on it that aren't ornaments, too. But I think you deserve a prize for your original tree decorations. Priceless!

  5. When my mother was living with us, she disliked the tree so much, she put up her own tree with all gold and red decorations in our four seasons room. It was gorgeous! She has since moved into an apartment and no longer wanted the big tree. None of my kids wanted a even one of the gold and red ornaments.

    I'm glad I persevered and kept all the oddities. There were some years, when taking down the tree, that I was sorely tempted to "lose" a few. How funny that these are the very ones that bring the most smiles and stories so many years later.

  6. I love your tree. All those handmade ornaments by the kids are my kind of handmade! Thanks for the comment on my Creative Wrapping post. A book or e-book is a great idea. I'll store it in my memory banks for later ;-).

    Have a Merry Christmas!


    P.s. Not sure if you knew that your google profile is missing an email. So, I hope you don't mind if I replied to your comment on your blog.


  7. It must be exciting all over again each year rediscovering all the little memories that hang on your tree! I have a rubber chicken too - but mine lives on a bamboo cane in the garden - visitors think I'm a bit mad!

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