Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Advent Calendar – December 15, 2014 ~ Christmas Tree Decorations

NOTE: This is a repost from December 2012

This is part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers. If you'd like to join in the fun, just click HERE.
Christmas Tree Decorations
Advent Calendar Prompt from 2014 Do you have unique decorations that you use each Christmas? How did you get them or were they passed down to you from family members? Do you have certain traditions surrounding Christmas decorations such as purchasing one from every state or country you visit? Describe your favorite decorations!
Tell us about your Christmas decorations and your memories of Christmases past.
Advent Calendar Prompt from 2012 - Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?


The special Christmas ornaments I remember most from my childhood were the painted glass birds that clipped onto the Christmas tree branches.  You may be able to see them on our tree in the photo above.  (Yes, that’s me in my nurse’s hat with my two brothers in the background.)  The birds were very pretty and had stiff flat plastic bristle-like tails that were decorated with glitter and other pretty things.  My dad liked the look of silver tinsel, which you can see was used to decorate our tree as well.  And, although it is not a tree ornament, I do remember the paper angel sitting on the mantel.  As I recall, it was made of paper and painted gold.

I don’t know if my Grandma Ingrid Gilberg used tinsel or glass bird ornaments to decorate her Christmas trees when she was a girl.  But, I’ve been able to read about some other decorations she and her family used to decorate their Christmas trees.  In her vocal history, recorded by my father, Grandma Ingrid reminisced about the traditions she and her Swedish immigrant parents shared at Christmas.  Among these were how they decorated their tree.

She recalled,
"It was a tradition that we make garlands for our tree.  We would decorate the ceilings with paper from corner to corner.  We would polish apples and hang them on the tree.  We did not have popcorn at this time, but we would string cranberries and hang them around the tree.  Then when Christmas Eve came, we would light our candles because there were no electric tree lights at this time.  At Christmas Eve, we would all gather around the room and we would dance around the tree and there was a little step we would dance to and we would sing a Christmas song."
"Now it is Christmas again,
Now it is Christmas again,
And after Christmas comes the New Year,
Yes it is so,
Yes it is so,
After Christmas comes the New Year."
So that you can get an idea of how these ceiling decorations may have looked, here’s a photo from Grandma Ingrid and Grandpa Arthur’s wedding reception.  I’m assuming this looked similar to how the ceiling was decorated with paper garlands at Christmas.


 
At this special time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I'd like to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas!

Thanks for reading!

© 2014 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

4 comments:

  1. It's interesting to see how our Christmas decorating has evolved over the years. How wonderful that your Grandma took time to write how they decorated. I don't think to write about such things in my journal, but it makes me think that I need to. Merry Christmas to you and your family Jana! (your first Christmas as a grandma!)

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    1. Thank you Michelle! Being a grandma is so much fun!

      I'm so glad my Dad interviewed my Grandma Ingrid so we could hear about her Christmas traditions and other things in her life. And you make a great point about writing about these kinds of things in our journals. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. You in the nurse hat is just the BEST. What a great photo!

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