Wednesday, 3 December 2014

So this is Christmas - decorating the Christmas Tree

As I said in the post - what kind of Christmas did you have as a child - I spent most of my Christmases at my maternal grandparents house. My grandmother was a great follower of Christmas - all the trimmings, all the foods, all the customs that must be followed.

G D McCann & watermelon c1950
Also in that post I talked about watermelon - that remains one of the highlights of the day.  Doesn't it seem strange today when we have watermelon all year. Here is another photo of my grandfather enjoying his slice of melon along with his portable radio. I just found this one so thought I would include it - he is caught just taking a bite.

We always had a "real Christmas Tree", bought just before Christmas Eve and decorated by all of us with strict instructions from my grandmother about where her beautiful collection of hand-blown ornaments were to be placed. They all had a strict hierarchy, known only to my grandmother of course. Woe betide one of us who dared to place the blue bird with real feathers for a tail anywhere but on the right hand side of the tree just below the multi-coloured twisted bauble. It all made absolute sense to my  Nan who obviously had a preordained plan in her head. As the favoured granddaughter I was allowed to direct where the sparkly tinsel went - much against my cousins wishes.
Some of the surviving baubles

Then there were the lights for the tree - goodness me the fuss every year over the lights. They always seemed to have been mysteriously tangled after they had been put away and were always the subject of much discussion between my grandparents. You know the sort of thing - if only they were put away properly after last Christmas Doug ... of course my grandfathers response went something like - it must have been the elves who got in and tangled them. Then they had to be tested, any bulbs replaced etc before being put on the tree and with my ever watchful grandmother giving instructions as to how they were strung.

I forgot to mention that "the tree" had to be placed in a bucket of wet sand, on a special circular mat and had to be at least 10 foot tall - the house had 15 foot ceilings and of course it had to be spectacular. If my grandfather had not chosen the correct tree I think he would have had no Christmas Dinner.

So on Christmas Eve all was done - the tree looked beautiful - the house sparkling - and the Salvos outside on the back of a truck singing Christmas carols. It was magic ...

Of course the tree had to stay up and all the decorations until the 5th January the day before Epiphany - you know the twelve days of Christmas.

You can find information about the 2014 Christmas GeneaMeme at

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