Wednesday, December 14, 2011

" O CHRISTMAS TREE, O CHRISTMAS TREE

Thy leaves are so unchanging" So goes the old German Christmas carol.


The carol seems quite fitting as my little Christmas tree is a German goose feather tree. Standing only 18" tall it was given to me for my first Christmas. You can imagine that it has great sentimental value and was one of the things I brought back from England 3 years ago after my mother passed away.


We were back in England the Christmas after my mother died and I brought out the tree as my mother had done every year since my childhood. All I really knew about the tree was that a customer to my grandparent's shop (they had a bakery and we lived over the shop) gave this to me as a gift.
That Christmas we were watching the Antique Roadshow and there was a little tree just like mine. It was the first I knew about the leaves being made from goose feathers. I got up and took a look and sure enough I could clearly see the leaves were made from feathers. The base is solid wood and says Germany on the bottom. How strange that just a few months before I was given the tree we had been at war with Germany.
 Apparently during the late 1800s there was grave concern over deforestation in Germany. People would top trees to use for Christmas and the government decided to put a stop to the practice. The making of these artificial trees began as a cottage industry. The branches were made far apart because they would attach candle holders to the tree. My tree was a later edition and was wired. I still have some of the original lights although the voltage difference means I must dress my tree with tiny ornaments.
Years ago I gave up on an artificial tree in favor of the real thing. From now on I think we will just use this little tree. It has witnessed Father Christmas (Santa Claus)  come down the chimney so many times.
I think I'll tell David he can get rid of the Christmas tree stand that kicks around most of the year.

11 comments:

  1. It's a lovely tree and such a sweet story behind it.

    I've seen those in magazine stories and always thought they were so pretty. It's nice that you found it to bring back with you too.

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  2. What a wonderful history. I had no idea there were trees made from real feathers. My emotional attachment is to an aluminum tree from the 50's...

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  3. Great story -- love the history behind this little tree!

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  4. It's a lovely little tree, with a fascinating story. What about a string of battery-operated lights? They'd be about the right size.

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  5. Those are the best kind of holiday decorations...the ones with memories attached.

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  6. Thank you Jenny! What a touching story and a lovely tree! Several days ago, my niece brought me from Russia one of our old Christmas tree ornaments which is probably is older than me. It is dear to me especially because my mother used to hold, touch and look at it. That little simple ornament brought a lot of memories. You are lucky to have the whole tree! Have wonderful holidays!

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  7. A lovely tree and another good lesson.
    The memories we have of Christmas past, are part of the magic of Christmas.

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  8. I've heard that necessity is the mother of invention, but turning goose feathers into a Christmas tree is just amazing. Happy Holidays!

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  9. Stunning! I've read about feather trees but never saw one up close. What a sentimental treasure!

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  10. This is the first I've heard of feather trees. I looked closely and finally made out that the needles were indeed feathers. Great story. Thanks for posting. Love learning something new!
    Aiyana

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  11. I like it, so cute! I love how you have decorated it your Christmas Tree. :)

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