Now, I don't know if you've noticed, but traffic is down here on the ol' blog. Most days, I still get about the same number of readers, but then if I skip a day or two, the numbers drop way down, and the comments are not flowing so freely either. So, when I received not only a comment, but also an INQUIRY, I was greatly inspired. Here goes.
"Let me ask you something. Growing up decorating the tree was ALL ABOUT the kids! My parents loved to watch us decorate it in our little imperfect ways. and that tradition has been passed on to my family. We decorate as a family. BUT... i was recently talking to some ladies who might possibly we reading this cause they only stalk your blog and don't comment ;0) They were saying how there mom always decorated the tree. and it was never even a thought that the kids would dare touch it.She said she remembers just standing in awe at this beautiful tree her mother created! soooo just curious... is this a JESSICA tree? Or a family tree?"
Good question, CrystalD! I was raised in a house where we all participated (we being Daddy and the kids, whichever kids were small enough or non-social enough or back in the house post-divorce or job loss). Daddy had a lassez-faire method for decorating trees. He'd start with purchasing the largest tree available on the market. Most of our houses had 10 ft ceilings, so 8 feet tall would be the very minimum, and if he could find one that poked the roof or bent over a little, even better.
Then, he would get massive strands of multicolored lights, the kind that had 7 different blinking patterns, and he'd lay those on thick. Then, some garland. Like, red and silver garland all the way up. Then, ornaments. We had all kinds of ornaments, mostly clay ones we made ourselves- I remember a big Santa head, and a Mickey Mouse, and a blue kinda oval with Peace On Earth painted on it... and then a couple classy ones Mama snuck in while nobody was looking.
Every 5 years or so, Mama would try to stage a mutiny and have a classy tree, but it never worked out. So, yeah, the clay ornaments and then various balls and Santas and angels, etc. Then, to finish off the Vegas tree, we'd dig deep into the silver tinsel and cover all surfaces. He wanted us to use a light hand with the tinsel, and by that I mean no clumps, just general all over domination and tinsel coverage. And a star on top, even if we had to duct-tape it.
Then, he might grab a glass of eggnog and a chunk of Sharp cheddar cheese and just sit back and enjoy the show.
I loved Daddy's trees. I mean, we did all participate. And if one of us had wanted to stick a GI Joe or a fruitcake or something in the branches, he would have been cool with that. As long as we did it before the tinsel.
I tried to keep up the traditions for years in my house, and it was pretty easy while we were youth pastors. One year, we had a Ninja Turtle theme on the tree. We didn't actually authorize it, and I am not positive where they came from. But there you go. After Daddy died, I felt an obligation to keep the color and the excitement in Christmas. After a couple of years, the urgency of doing it his way started to fade, and I realized I kinda liked white lights, and some matching ornaments, and a couple years more to accept that I wasn't crazy about tinsel. (May he not be reading this from heaven) I didn't get crazy like, all white and silver ornaments and china and such... just kinda like, okay, jewel tones, or something like that.
That was a long explanation to get to this one point. I do have an idea in mind for what the final product should look like, and this is the first year that any little people have even tried to help. So I let them, with a little direction. For example.... "Now, we can't hang all the ornaments on that one branch... maybe we could put one over here? No? Okay."