…try to find an antidote. Getting over the jetlag is one thing… trying to get over missing out on the Christmas Markets in Germany is quite another! Our weather has changed and I am experiencing the sudden cold with a somewhat negative physical and emotional reaction. I suddenly felt really down and somewhat at loose ends this weekend. My sister did keep me very busy during my stay with her… Coming home to a quiet house there is only so much puppy cuddling one can engage in during the day.
I wasn’t sure if I would decorate much for Christmas this year. Last week I pulled out a few smaller items and candles and I was satisfied at first. When the blues hit quite hard on Saturday I decided to take the plunge and decorate the Christmas tree after all. It would be the first step to fighting the emotional low due to missing family and friends. It was also the earliest I have ever set up the tree!
Each year I wonder why I hold on to the fake Christmas tree, now 18 years old! We used to cut our own tree when Nicole was little. Once she was a teenager and no longer really interested in cutting a tree “in the wilderness with hot chocolate as a reward”, we would go and support one of the local charities in Calgary and pick out a tree from one of the lots in our neighbourhood. Eventually, we bought an artificial tree which makes just as much of a mess as the real trees used to contrary to popular belief! Why do I hold on to this tree? I will be honest, I really love the strong branches which easily accommodate some of the really heavy ornaments we own. Besides heavy glass ornaments, I still have the stars I made the first Christmas in my first apartment in Germany in 1978!
Anticipation grows with each assembly step… Yes, I set up the tree myself in a mindful state. I learned years ago that rushing this activity only generates unwelcome stress. The trunk is securely fitted into the tree stand, then I distribute the branches from the bottom up. Many years ago I learned that adding the lights with each layer of branches makes for a less frustrating experience. The metallic gold ribbon, which is actually two long strips of sequin waste, I found in a recycle shop during my Gustav Klimt research phase and “golden era”. It still adds great depth to the overall presentation and is so much nicer than the tinsel we grew up with!
As I unwrapped the many ornaments collected over the past 40+ years I once again prided myself in remembering where each came from, which Christmas market I discovered it at, who created the little mouse in a nutshell, who gifted me the two angels as a thank you for participating in their wedding, the newest glass ball I found at Villa Reuter in Maria Laach this year and the many Santa ornaments I have gifted to Colin over the years have been found near and far. These days we use small LED lights to illuminate the tree but I always add two dozen candles to complete “the look” and bring back fond childhood memories…
I think my self-imposed therapy is working… the sun is coming out as I type this blog post and the day is beginning to look a lot brighter despite the -32C windchill temperature.
Here are some of the images in a larger format:
The green glass ornament I found at Villa Reuter. It is my latest addition to the tree ornament collection.
Woven stars, created from special golden ribbon still adorn our tree. I made these in 1978. My dad had dropped off a Christmas tree for me, hoisted it over the hedge surrounding my apartment patio… I was overjoyed and didn’t even care about that one side of the tree had stunted branches. It fit perfectly into the corner of the living room. 😉
One of the angels a friend gifted me with after her wedding to say thank you.
The mouse in the walnut shell ornament… I am sure most of us have one version or another of this popular ornament on the Christmas tree. Nicole gifted me with it when she was in her early 20s… it seems so long ago!
This little angle was also from Nicole, she gave it to me when she was in Kindergarten! Every time I look at it I am reminded of how much the angel resembles her three-year-old son, Sebastian… just as blond and just as angelic without the cloud and wings! 😉
One of the newer Santa ornaments. I love it for its simplicity.
I will finish with this tiny, handpainted Indian madonna ornament. It is one of my favourite ornaments. I found it at a Fair Trade Christmas market. It only measures about one inch…
Thanks, everyone for indulging me in my walk down memory lane. I look forward to flicking the switch when it gets dark tonight to take in our tree in all its splendour! Stay warm and may the spirit of the season light the way!