Tuesday, December 2, 2008


One of my daughters posted tree pix on her blog and asked the rest of us to do the same, so -- since I finally got the last of the garland on tonight (had to buy more...) here it is, with and without flash. This is a "natural" tree, not grown at a christmas tree farm but rather harvested from my friend, Robin's farm. For me, a Yule tree is not a decorating statement, as in decor, but rather a ritual form... a spell, if you will, that strengthens connections with positive parts or the past and reaches forth into the future, as the wheel turns through the bottom side of the year, with thanks for blessings received and hoped/worked for into the future.

An interesting side note: all of the guys I have been privileged to know -- every single one of them -- has had some kind of "issues" with this holiday season, and it has mostly gone on around them, regardless. K is no exception (this being one of the few ways in which he resembles, in my mind, a "typical guy.) Over the past few years he has commented on how different the holidays are with me, in that I don't pressure/insist that he help and then berate him for having done it all wrong! No, instead I have allowed him to assist as he feels like, and as we work together, have never found anything he did "wrong." I am not sure there is a "wrong" when it comes to holiday decor, for that matter! He just said that he feels like he should, in the future, help with the tree, but was unsure if he would "know how." I referred him to my belief, above, re: holiday decorating and assured him there is no wrong way to decorate a tree and that I look forward to his helping spin the web next year.

That being said, I want to share close ups of some of the ornaments on the tree, with their importance to me.

This is one of several Santa-stars made by the kids at church when they were youngsters. There are two of these angels, from about the same period, the older kids work.
From 1991... dirt poor, not with the family, just beginning my Pagan walk, the magic of the season called me nevertheless. I was living in a tiny cabin in the woods so finding a tree was no problem. Decorations had to be made though for money was more than tight. On one trip to town, on a wet and snowy day, I spotted a large sheet of heavy green foil laying in the street. Pulled over, grabbed it, and turned the undamaged parts into these spirals, for the turning of the wheel of the year. Several still remain and hang on the tree every year.

The egg, above, is another example of decorations from that period. There were food stamps but not much money. Blown eggs make nice ornaments and an entire carton, some with airbrush designs, still survive.

The original tree of this period was unlighted as I was living beyond the power lines, could not afford battery powered lights and was unwilling to risk candles.

Like I said, there were food stamps... and for a few bucks, an assortment of nuts, painted in metalic colors and hung from embroidery floss with Elmers glue were pressed into service representing abundance. Here is a Brazil nut (one of the few good uses for one, in my opinion! Here is a hazel nut hanging next to one of the first "boughten" ornaments I acquired when I was living in Spokane, WA, working and going to school. There was a little $$ to spare and for a couple of years, the "celestial" motif was popular -- a boon to the tree-decorating Pagan! I collected an assortment of sun, moon and star decorations of which this transparent plastic sun was one.
An image of abundance, and of the Lady as well... several bunches of grapes hang on the tree. Another sun, a tiny, lightweight puffy one that is easy to hang on the wild harvested trees I prefer.

Before I moved to town, I made tiny crescent moons out of bits of aluminum foil, and the tinsel garland on the was made from several continuous thin strips cut from bags of Lays Salt& Vinegar potato chips. The inner side of the bag is silver and the printed outside lost all coherance when no more than 3/8" wide.

Celebrating the return of the sun calls for a solar tree topper. I am not sure what this "sun disk" was supposed to have been, but it came from JoAnn Fabrics during the same period as all the other celestial ornaments. A bit of duct tape makes sure it stays at the top of the tree.
A moon from the "celestial period."
When I moved to the coast of NC, where commercial fishing was one of the main occupations, I learned to enjoy a slew of new fishes and commorated my new knowledge by making ornaments from brown paper cutouts, painted with acrylic, glued and stuffed with bits of batting and sprinkled with appropriate color glitter for the scales. I made a set for several friends and kept one. This is a spot. This fishing trawler from 2002 Waterfowl Weekend at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum reminds me of that period, the local industry, some very good friends and clients and a wonderful old salt, James Allen Rose who produces these ornaments for the Museum each year.

The wise old owl is the ornament K selected on our trip to the craft store today. When you pull the acorn on the strung below him, he flaps his wings! He's pretty heavy, so hangs back in the tree on a stout branch.
One of two Moravian Stars. K loves this form and I happened to find the two of them on sale this year!
Another new one for this year, Dragonfly, one of the creatures I work with, symbolizing change. And so we finally come to the end. I hope you have enjoyed this guided tour of our Yule tree!


Tali said...

Beautiful! I lve it! hey speaking of ornaments and decorations from when we were little, do you still have your wooden nativity that dad made, that was a puzzle sort of thing? If so, would you mind tracng it or taking a picture of it or both for me? I want Him to make me one and so do all the other sisters, but he does not have the plan any more.

oldcrow61 said...

I loved the tour of your Yule tree. I can't say more, I'm feeling a little misty eyed for some reason. Guess you have me thinking of wonderful holiday seasons when growing up. So many memories come flooding back at this time of year.