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.
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