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Christmas Tree Decorations

Each year the Christmas tree is full of decorations that tell a story. The oldest decorations date from when my parents first married. The rather scary looking choirboy has been on family Christmas trees since 1947. He is actually a cake decoration, which is why he is garrotted by wire in order to be hung on the tree. He always has a position at the top of the tree. Two angels date from the same era but one has a broken halo, so only one now hangs on the tree.

Then there are the two plastic birds, one green and one red. They, I believe, were originally my grandmother Ivy’s. Although they are not budgerigars, to me they were always representative of the budgies that the family owned over the years. They always have to be hung with a red or green light behind them.

Of the same era are the yellow plastic angel and a similar pink star and bell, again always hung by the appropriate coloured light.They came with a set of stars and snowflakes. Some of these consist of two halves so that they can slot together to form a three dimensional decoration. Over the years, some of the halves have been broken so we can no longer always match the colours but they are still precious.

There are also a set of plastic bells that no one could claim were anything other than decidedly naff. They are special too as my mum and then I, when I took over sole charge of tree decorating at the age of twelve, have hung them on our trees for six decades.


Some glass icicles also date from the 1940s or early 1950s and are hung in clumps. These and some of the older decorations are still suspended using black wire that I remember from my childhood.

It was wound round a broken wooden reel. A few still have some crinkly metal wire from a similar era. More recently, we have used bent paperclips to hang decorations. Each year there are always fewer clips than there are decorations, so more have to be bent. No one has worked out where some of the clips go.

Baubles from the 1940s and 1950s still adorn my tree. My favourites were those with butterflies on and I still have those. They met with a disaster one year when a particularly resinous tree made them unpleasantly sticky and threatened to remove their paint. I did buy some similar ones from ebay just in case they were lost to me for ever but they still appear on the tree each year.

From the 1970s, my fondness for  Snoopy shines from my tree. There are decorations from my early married life and from the years since.

We frequently add to our collections by decorating parcels with tree ornaments. I have cross stitch decorations worked by my mother and daughters. There are hand knitted decorations and others that have been hand made. More recently, I have taken to bringing back tree decorations from my foreign travels.

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