Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas memories

I think this may be the latest I've ever put up my tree! I've missed seeing the soft white lights glowing at the far end of my sunroom throughout the month of December... But, at least I have a week or two to enjoy them. Many of my German blogging friends told me they don't put up their tree until Christmas Eve. My grandmother, whose parents came to the United States from Germany in the late 1800's, followed that same tradition. Christmas Eve was always the day for decorating the tree, followed by a party for her 20+ grandchildren who each received a gift from my Uncle Mark (dressed up as a very unconvincing--somewhat scary-looking--Santa). I think I'd rather put up my tree earlier so I can enjoy all those little cross stitched ornaments a bit longer--can you even imagine how many hours of patiently stitching little x's onto fabric have gone into my tree?

Most of you have seen this scene before--many times! All that's new this year are 12 more ornaments plus a few from friends (which I will share with you in my next post). But, people seem to enjoy seeing it year after year, so I'm happy to oblige.   You should be able to click on all of the photos for a closer look...

Cross Stitch Christmas Tree 2017

Here are some closeups for you: 






Day or night--it makes me smile!




Do you have a favorite ornament on your tree? For me, it is this tiny "Five Golden Rings" stiched over one on 28 ct. black Monaco. I'm not sure why, but I just love the little angels and the delicate rings they are holding--such a sweet design by Cottage Garden Samplings that I stitched back in 2012.

My favorite ornament

The good old days... My brother sent me some vintage photos from Christmas in the early 60s... I'm guessing I'm around nine years old here. My dad took this photo after we had descended the stairs (in youngest to oldest order--a tradition we followed with our own children). I think he perfectly captured our joy on Christmas morning. Just look at my little sister, hands in the air, saying "Oh, boy!!"

Christmas in the 60s!

So, what did I receive that sparked that smile? Well, let's take a look under the tree... Why, it's the Barbie Dream House! Hmm... I was never much of a Barbie girl--it actually looks like I'm more delighted with the tiny guitar in my hands. Behind me is a bowling set that I remember playing with by the hour, too! And does anyone remember Vac-u-form by Mattel? It was a machine that used metal molds and heated plastic to conform to the molds in shapes of cars, little toys, etc. Oh, we played with that constantly down in our basement creating countless worthless things!

Nothing like the joy of children on Christmas morning!

And, there you have it... another year, the same tree with more ornaments! I hope you've enjoyed seeing it. Many of you have written to tell me that I've inspired them to stitch more ornaments and I love hearing that! There is something so immediately gratifying about stitching a small ornament and then seeing all of them displayed on your tree each year. I love it and plan on stitching twelve more next year--it's an addiction! What can I say?

Before I go, I want to thank you for all of your wonderful comments on my "Parade Of Ornaments" post--I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And I want to wish each of you a truly blessed Christmas... I hope you'll have at least some of your family with you. Our oldest and his wife won't be here--it is their turn with her family and the first time he hasn't spent Christmas with us in 35 years. But, we'll be joined for Christmas dinner by my cousin and her husband who are in town for some medical treatments so we're looking forward to that. I'll be back next week to share the wonderful gifts sent to me by some talented stitchers.  Wishing you every joy as you celebrate Christmas! Bye for now...

Wishing you a joy-filled Christmas!

50 comments:

marly said...

.."creating countless worthless things"
LOL!!! Always good to get simple fun. It's such a shame that those wonderful ornaments are only in view for such a short time. But oh when they are, they make a beautiful display. Merry Christmas! Hope your mom is doing well.

Beth said...

I too got a Barbie dream house like yours. Much of it was cardboard and had to be folded together - it took my Mom and Dad all day. Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories and wonderful tree.

Robin in Virginia said...

Carol, your tree is absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing a few of your Christmas memories! I remember the Vac-U-Form by Mattel, but never had one of my own. Wishing you peace and joy as we approach Christmas Day.

Jennifer said...

Oh, wow, Carol, your tree is just gorgeous! I have about a dozen stitched ornaments on my tree this year (after a finishing spree early this year) and probably a dozen more stitched that I need to finish. They sure do personalize the tree! Our family tradition (started by my husband and me) is to buy an ornament each year when we go on vacation, so we love pulling them out and reminiscing about great vacations over the years, I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas!

Cindy said...

What a beautiful tree and all those ornaments! I love it! Have a very happy Christmas, Carol.

MartinaM said...

Dear Carol, we also set up the tree only on Christmas Eve, but with the many little ornaments hanging on your tree, you definitely need more time
He looks fantastic. How long do you need to hang around?
Oh, what nice memories. They are so valuable.
With all my heart I wish you a magical Christmas.
Big Hugs, Martina

maxi said...

★Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Christmas★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚

Happy Stitching
maxi

Andrea said...

Thank you for sharing your tree again. It really is an inspiration ... and always so magnificent standing so regally there in front of your glass doors.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful festive season.

Manuela said...

Hello Carol,

wunderschöne Weihnachtserinnerungen die du mit uns teilst.
Mein Weihnachtsbaum steht schon im Wohnzimmer und wird heute nachmittag geschmückt, die Lichterkette wird erst am Heilig Abend angemacht.
Jedes Jahr freue ich mich auf den Post mit deinem Weihnachtsbaum. Ich finde ihn jedes Jahr aufs neue sehr schön und bin überwältigt von der Vielzahl der Ornamente die du aufhängst.
Du hast mich inspieriert auch kleine Ornamente oder Dekokissen zu sticken und zu nähen.

I wish you and your familiy a Merry Christmas.
Hugs, Manuela

Marilyn said...

You should win an award for most gorgeous tree!!
No kidding! It's just beautiful.
What a fantastic collection of ornaments.
Great pics and memories of your Christmas' past also.
I remember 1 year, my Uncle made a trunk and covered it with Contac paper. Inside was a big dolly, and all kinds of outfits for her that my Aunt sewed for her, without a pattern!
It was the best Christmas memory....ever!
Wishing you a safe, happy, healthy Holiday season.
Marilyn

Nurdan Kanber said...

Carol, I did not get to look at your Christmas tree. How much effort, how many memories and how much love you have on it.

Merry Christmas,

May this Christmas to bring health, peace, joy and happiness to you and your family.

Hugs

LaNelle said...

Christmas Greetings Carol, oh how your tree makes me smile too what a lovely treasure you have...just beautiful 🎄 and Thank you for sharing the wonderful family photos isn’t that what this season is all about Love ❤️ wishing you & your family a blessed Christmas 🕊

Wanda said...

Hi Carol! Your tree is so gorgeous! I just love it that you share your gorgeous tree with us. I cannot even imagine how many hours of love are stitched into it. It is truly a work of art. I have been thinking about you and hope that your mom is doing well. It will be a different Christmas without your oldest son and wife being home.
I spent some time reviewing your ornament posts (again!) and they are so filled with inspiration. I look forward to seeing this year's 12 ornaments. Wishing you and your family a wonderful and healthy 2018. Thanks as always for the joy your beautiful blog brings, hugs, Wanda

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

Just beautiful! I enjoy your blog so much - so pretty and great inspiration. I've pinned so many of your ornaments to give me inspiration to finish my own stitching. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Kate said...

Carol, your tree is magical!!
Happy Christmas.

Daffycat said...

Beautiful tree, Carol...it’s just magical! I’m wishing you the merriest Christmas!

Sandy said...

The tree is magnificent. The amount of stitching on that tree may only be recognized for its true worth by another stitcher. I love it. You have a gift for finishing them so well. The finish is lovely, but never takes over the stitching. I think that is what draws me in. The golden rings one would be one of my favorites as well. I noticed a bird one along the way that I really liked too.
It is fun seeing us all back in the 60's. We were so cute with our toys.
Have a wonderful Christmas.

Vickie said...

All that effort was worth is Carol. It is truly gorgeous. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family. I continue to pray for your mom.❤️

Arlene Grimm said...

Merry Christmas!! My parents put the tree up about two weeks before Christmas because we always had a live tree.. With an artificial tree we put ours up right after Thanksgiving so we can enjoy it all month. That five golden rings ornament is just gorgeous. I have done several cross stitch ornaments for my tree at our vacation home....of those my favorite is the Prairie Schooler Cow. I also loved your vintage photos. Those were the days!!

Vicki said...

Your tree is gorgeous!
Merry Christmas!

Stasi said...

Carol, I have major Christmas tree envy--your tree is absolutely gorgeous!!! And how very special all the stitched ornaments are; the stitching AND finishing is superb!You may be motivating me to squeeze more of them into my stitching rotation.
As for Christmas memories, we went to bed Christmas Eve and awoke Christmas morning to a decorated tree and our presents...all thanks to Santa! We too paraded down the stairs youngest to oldest and I was always last...drat!!!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and blessed New Year!

butterfly said...


Our highlight of Christmas blog land is your tree Carol.
Just beautiful , what a treat for us all.
Lots of beautiful stitching and wonderful finish on each one

Enjoy your Christmas and have a Happy New Year .

Anne said...

Merry Christmas dear Carol!! Your tree is gorgeous and I had no clue about those traditions of decorating the tree on Christmas eve. I hope your Christmas will be full of cheer and lots of laughter. Hugs!

Linda said...

Always a gorgeous tree Carol. I can stitch the ornaments I just can't finish them.

Merry Christmas,

Linda

Lili said...

Your tree is really beautiful!
One of my traditions is add to the tree the star ornament only on Christmas Eve. And all the Christmas decorations stay after Epiphany day.

Happy holidays!

RJ said...

Such a gorgeous tree filled with so many memories. You have done a wonderful job filling such a pretty tree with so many beautifully stitched ornaments.
Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. I look forward to your stitches for 2018' RJ

Margaret said...

Beautiful as always! And the pics from your childhood! What fun to see those! I hope you all have a wonderful, happy Christmas!

Jill said...

Merry Christmas. When I was growing up it seemed more special to have a live tree up and decorated for a short time. Now we are among the many others that have an artificial tree and it's a 4-footer. I absolutely loved your parade of ornaments. Thanks for sharing.

Barb said...

Your tree is a work of art. My favorite ornament is one my mom made for me many years ago. Not really my style(it has sequins) but I love it. You will need to get Facetime. Yesterday I spent 45 minutes just watching my grand children make gingerbread houses. At times like that I love technology. They are a few thousand miles away. Carol, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. That wish includes your family too!

Christine said...

Beautiful ~ Thank you for sharing the pics! It's like seeing Christmas lights on the same house each year ~ it never gets old, just more enjoyable! Have a wonderful Holiday!

Shelly said...

Such a beautiful tree Carol! It's not Christmas through stitching blog land until we get to see your tree! The Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!

Cathy H. said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love seeing all your ornament together!

Meg said...

Carol, your tree is so pretty! I was just describing your blog to my mom yesterday, and I said I had no idea how you are able to fit all of your beautiful ornaments on the tree. But...wow! You do, and it looks fabulous! I love the beaded trim, too. Love the vintage photos and the tinsel on the tree....haha. That brought back memories. Have a wonderful Christmas. Happy stitching!

Brigitte said...

All the Christmas memories of the times when we were children and when our own children were still little are just wonderful and I love to think back to those times.

Thanks for sharing the pictures of your crafty tree. Yes, we also put up the tree on Christmas Eve. So this afternoon it will be. And it will be up until the day after Epiphany. That's our Christmas tradition and my grandparents had already handled it the same way. I don't have many stitched ornaments because I always fail stitching some during the year. But we still have all the old decoration that our children made when they were little and the have decorated our tree for the last 30 years. And of course there are the seven Prairie Schooler Santas that I stitched and finished - the only ornaments I managed to stitch :) Of course I have stitched many PS Santas over the years but they all went out to other homes as gifts.

I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a great start of the New Year!

Karen said...

Oh my! Your tree is just gorgeous! Love seeing all your stitched ornaments.

Sam I Am...... said...

Love your tree and your pictures of the 60's! So cute to see children on Christmas morning. I was in HS during the 60's. I have not done 12 ornaments in a year but I would like to start this next year. Yours are so beautiful and you finish them so lovely. How did you learn how to do that? I could stitch them but not sure I could finish them so wonderfully that I would hang them on a tree. If there is a book I could learn from please let me know....it is your finishing that truly brings them to life and they are all so unique. You are very talented and thank you for sharing and inspiring me and so many more I'm sure. Have a wonderful Christmas. I have spent the last 13 Christmas's alone but I don't mind after all those Christmas's that I worked so hard! LOL! They call and we open presents together over the phone so I get to partake. I always fix hor'deurves for Christmas Eve and a nice dinner for Christmas day and I have my wonderful companions (2 dogs and 2 cats) so I am never really 'alone'. It helps me to focus on the true meaning of Christmas too. After raising 4 children and a husband I truly enjoy my 'lonely' life! LOL! It's a well kept secret!

deb said...

Your tree is absolutely beautiful! I'm glad you included the closeups - so delightful to browse all the branches. :)

My family also followed the put-the-tree-up-on-Christmas-Eve tradition - it had been what my mom's family had done. My dad did the whole thing - decorating the tree, making a snow covered village and train loop - AFTER we kids went to bed. No wonder he always took a Christmas afternoon nap! I think your youngest to oldest entry is very nice.

Didn't know anyone who had a Vac-u-form, but I got a Thingmaker one year - ah, the joys of Plastigoop!

Daniela Bencúrová said...

Dear Carol, your tree is beautiful!
I wish you Christmas filled with joy and satisfaction!

Susan Lankford said...

Love the festive tree and all the ornaments are amazing! Merry christmas! Thanks for the old-fashioned pictures of you and your siblings....so sweet!

Sheryl S. said...

Such a wonderful tree Carol and all those stitched ornaments, you definately need to display and admire all the work for more than just a couple of weeks. Here in Spain people put up decorations during the second half of December. Love your wonderful photos of the 60s. Very happy Christmas to you and yours.

Gabi said...

What a wonderful tree! Thank you for sharing your memories with us.The pictures of your childhood are lovely.
Your ornaments are beautiful and amazing. I started to give my children an ornament for Christmas 4 years ago.
A happy Christmas to you and yours from Germany

Preeti said...

Wonderful tree, Carol! It is a great idea to cherish and display your stitching every year:) Nice to see your childhood pictures :)
Happy Christmas to you!

Katie said...

What an amazing beautiful tree. Thanks for sharing. Love your photos too. How fun to look back on those days.

Lillie said...

Oh my! Your tree is magnificent and what a wonderful ornaments you have in your collections. It's always a joy to read about traditions and thank you for sharing it. Those childhood photos are precious. How time flies, the New Year is only days away and here's wishing you Happy New Year !

Mary said...

Carol, My parents did not put our tree up until we were fast asleep on Christmas Eve. My mother said that they would stay up all night, decorating the tree, putting presents together so we would think that Santa did all the work!!! Christmas morning we would wake our parents and my father would have to go downstairs first to see if Santa came, he would turn on the tree lights and what a vision it was to behold Christmas morning!! I think it was a great tradition but tons of work for them!!

YOur tree is stunning!!!! Love your Christmas past photo! Never heard of Vac-u-form, I missed that growing up in the 60's. Off to see your parade of ornaments, I got sick before Christmas and way behind on everything, especially reading blogs. Mary

Julie said...

I'm catching up .... your 12 ornaments this year are superb, how can a girl pick just one. The tree looks amazing as always, so many beauties adorn it that I remember from years past.
I hope mom is doing ok and that you were able to enjoy Christmas with your family.
Much love to you dear Carol xx

Frances N said...

Your tree is beautiful! I try to put mine up early, also, to enjoy everything because it is a lot of work. (but worth it!)
I love the Christmas photos! Wasn't everything so exciting as a child?!

Meari said...

Enjoyed seeing your Christmas photos. :) My sister and I got a Barbie Dream House one year in the late 70's. We loved that thing! Even though I was a tomboy, I loved Barbie!

Dr Eka said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bekca said...

I must admit, your lovely tree is certainly inspiring me to make a few more Christmas ornaments. And maybe not just cross stitch too, I just love the look of a home made tree :)