This year we have two Christmas trees. The first is my little goose feather Christmas tree which is at least as old as I am if not older. It was given to me on my first Christmas and resided in my family home until 11 years ago. It came with lights which were in the shape of Chinese lanterns and always gave a nice glow to the corner of the living room.
It stands only 12" above the wooden base and I think it gets smaller every year! Maybe it is drying out in the harsh Texas climate.
I was completely oblivious to its origins until 11 years ago. We were in England for Christmas, my mother having passed away that September. On a chilly winter evening we were watching the Antique Roadshow with the tree atop the television. Someone had brought in a little tree and they started to talk about its branches being made of goose feathers. It looked so much like my little tree that I walked over to the TV and took a good look at it. Lo and behold those branches were made from dyed feathers.
The goose feather trees are considered to be the first artificial trees to be made and originated in Germany in the 1890s, when there was concern about too many trees being cut down for Christmas trees. The cutting of trees had been going on for many years with no forest management. If my tree came from the continent then I have wondered how it came to be in England at the end of the war. It must have already been there before the war started in 1939. It has a special place in my Christmas decorating although the 240volt lights have been removed and replaced with tiny tree ornaments. There are still some of the original berries on the end of the stems which were widely placed in order to decorate with candles.
My second tree is far more local, being a dead branch from a cedar tree. Firmly held in a pot with plaster of paris, it holds a collection of ornaments designed and made by the Texas State Capitol every Christmas since 1996. Collecting one of theses ornaments has become a tradition for us and this year they have their own little tree.
I'm sure a new one will have its chance to be on the tree for at least 12 days after Christmas. Yes, we still hold to the tradition of taking down all the Christmas decorations by January 6th.
So what to do with all those other tree decorations I have collected during my married life. A select few have found their way into a bowl to be displayed on the coffee table.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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