Saturday 19 December 2015

Tree Decorating Traditions

Last night we decorated our tree. I think we are a little later than most people. We have a real tree, and we wanted to wait until our daughter was back from university, so it was better to wait, rather than purchase it too early and have it dry out too quickly, or leave our daughter out of the decorating.

The tree has been in different spots over the years. This year it is in the living room, or "red room" as we refer to it. We moved a wing back chair and little side table out of the way. The tree fits perfectly. The procedure goes as follows: my husband puts it into the tree stand. This involves using the drill with a hook on it to screw the trunk into place, sometimes with blocks of wood to make up the extra space. The tree stand is heavy, so it goes on a mat so that it does not dent the wooden floor underneath.

Next come the lights. We just have plain, clear bulbs. I am in charge of the lights. After that, my daughter takes care of the beads. We have strands of "pearl" beads and gold beads. When she is done putting on the beads, I put on the ribbons. We have had these ribbons for so many years, but every year, they are carefully wound up and stored away to be used again next year. They are wide, wired ribbons that catch the light nicely. My daughter usually rearranges them a bit so they look perfect.

Then everybody gets involved in hanging the ornaments. The colour scheme for the tree is red / green / gold. No blue or silver. We usually start by clustering three plain balls on one wire and distribute those throughout the tree. We have collected ornaments over the years. My husband likes the special glass ones, like Santas or snowmen, or a reindeer. We do have a few "kid" ornaments that either have their name on them, or they made in school.

Traditionally, our daughter puts the angel on the top. This year she only needed to stand on a kitchen stool and place it on the top. Other years, when she was little, she would sit on her dad's shoulders and put the angel on.

A final job for my husband is to use some thin, sturdy wire to wire the tree in place. This year he has secured it to a door knob and the old hinge on the door behind it. We had an unfortunate tree falling incident in the past which resulted in a few busted ornaments and we don't want a repeat this year!!

Of course, the supervisor was there to make sure everything went smoothly.


  1. We used to have Siamese cats and once when our son was small and a day boarder at a local school, we decorated the tree as a surprise for him when he came home. It was the last day of term and we left the tree lights on and both drove to collect him. When we turned into the road there was no sign at all of the tree. The cats has pushed it over, taken off all the ornaments and spread them around and one was sitting all tangled up in the lights looking very smug. NNot a single ornament was broken!

  2. We had a real tree a few years back. It nearly broke us. There were *scenes* I don't know what was more *tense*, the 'Getting it into the house bit' or The 'getting it to stand up' bit.