Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The truth about the tree

I've been putting off telling you, but I ditched the artificial tree.

I tried, really I did, but my heart wasn't in it. I couldn't even bring myself to put any decorations on it, and nor could anyone else. So I asked my son what he thought of getting a real tree, and he jumped at the chance. Before you could say "tree", the two of us were at the shop round the corner, the tree was bought and up.

And then I did begin to enjoy decorating. I love getting out the old things that the kids made when they were small, and I love hanging stuff in the same place as it hung last year. And remembering where we bought some of the others.

The knitted socks were made by my son, for hubbie and me, when he was 9. His teacher got her mother to travel down from Donegal (about 3 hours from Dublin, where we live) and stay for a few days to teach the class how to knit! I helped with stitching on M on mine and P on hubbie's. On top of the tree are 2 angels, made by the girls round about the same time.

We have a gold bauble bought on a trip to Disney, some painted eggs bought in Salzburg, and some lovely silver decorations, made here in Ireland by Newbridge Silverware- a church, a Cinderella carriage, a carousel. These were all gifts, one per year, from a friend.

One of my Christmas traditions is that I send these Newbridge decorations to my 3 nieces who live in the UK. I picture them opening them, and perusing what each one got. And I picture them helping to decorate their tree each year by hanging their own decorations on the branches. I hope they enjoy them, and that it gives them some sense of their Irishness. My own children, however, scorn the idea - they think my nieces would prefer to get money than decorations. Maybe now, but in the future they may appreciate them, and tell their own children about the Irish aunt who annually sent them - who knows?


  1. Oh what a lovely idea. I have to say, I had a great aunt who used to send packages much like that. I remember the excitement with each one. You are on the right track. They will love and remember this and you forever.

  2. I love how sentimental the gesture is. And I am positive that one day the will appreciate the ornaments that you have sent. One day they will sit around and pull them out one by one and tell what they remember from the year that each one was given.
    But it may take a while. It may take until they are pulling them out with their own children to decorate their own Christmas trees.

    As for your live tree, much, much better than your fake one. I think it was a wise choice!

  3. Hi Mimi, i came over from Lola's after i saw your comment, I liked what you had to say. I think your tree is charming, i love trees because of their imperfections and of course the smell. Artificial have their place i guess, but i'm with you regarding the real ones. I also love the handmade ornaments that my childen made when they were small. I think sending ornaments is a good idea, what a lovely aunt you are.
    I hope you and your family have the merriest of Christmas's!

  4. I'm not surprised that you caved, Mimi. Your heart was holding out for that real tree. It does look beautiful.
    I think the nieces will always treasure the ornaments - and their Irish aunt. Money doesn't last, does it? Good choice.

  5. It is lovely to keep old tree decorations from the past.
    Real trees look better. I am just being lazy with my artificial one. Christmas is a bit hit and miss this year.

    Happy Christmas.

    Nuts in May

  6. Heehee, Mimi, they say confession is good for the soul. Your tree looks lovely and I'm sure your nieces will appreciate your gift. Merry Christmas.

  7. Thanks for your lovely comments.
    I'm glad I caved in, every time I go into the room,the beautiful smell of the tree greets me.
    I brought the artificial one to a charity shop, but they didn't want it, so now I think I'll keep it.....maybe next year? I don't know.
    Hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas.