Thursday, December 9, 2010

How I Came to Have an Aluminum Christmas Tree

Over the years I have had many different styles of Christmas tree. Primitive, Victorian, even a tree that hung upside down. The last 3 years I have had a retro aluminum tree. I love it!


When I was a kid, it was a great treat to stay with my Great Grandmother. She was born in 1896 which to me as a child made her exotic (and incredibly old). She ate cookies with her cereal in the morning, a bowl of ice cream before bed every night and had a taste for the gaudy. She loved beads and sparkly jewelry and lace. Lots of lace. At Christmas she had a silver aluminum tree. I had never seen one before or anywhere else. The rest of the family found it slightly offensive. I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I loved it, it was so her. The trees were already out of fashion when I came along.

Their height of poplularity running roughly from 1959 to around 1962.
So, a few years ago I stumbled on my tree, right before Thanksgiving. I couldn't get it out of my mind. A couple of days later I came home and it was in my living room. Eric had went back and bought it.
My mother still thinks it is atrocious and my kids don't get it but it makes me happy and reminds me of the woman who ate cookies for breakfast and ice cream at bedtime.
Merry Christmas, Dawn

27 comments:

  1. I grew up with a tree like this one! I should go dig out my pictures of standing in front of it when I was little! Great reminder and sure enough brings back memories. I remember those old glass bulbs with the liquid centers too!

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  2. Ahhh...what a wonderful story...I feel warm and mushy all over...AND I think I'll have a cookie with my coffee this morning!! :o)Thanks for sharing!
    Paulette

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  3. My grandmother had a tree like that too. They are hard to find and very expensive now.
    My grandma had one of those lights underneath that made the tree look different colors as it turned.
    Brings back a lot of memories.

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  4. This is a heartwarming story. You are your own person and the tree reminds you of your Gram. As long as YOU love it, that is all that matters. No other person's opinion counts, not even your Mother. :-)

    PS I think I shall have cookies with breakfast soon. :-)

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  5. What a sweet memory of your grandmother. Lovely tribute. Enjoy your Christmas :-)

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  6. That's a sweet post. I love how certain things from our past become so important for us today.

    Your aluminum tree is quite pretty. I know when I was growing up they were kind of popular in friends homes.

    Merry Christmas!

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  7. Thanks for the wonderful story, I remember the silver trees. In their own way, they were pretty. There was the light you could put under the tree with the rotating color wheel that made the tree change colors, too. Memories are so much fun.

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  8. My grandma also had one with the color wheel when i was growing up i was born in 1957. I remember seeing it up til she died back in 1994. You just made me think wonder which one got it or if they threw it away. Bless you for the memory..
    thanks and have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    Wilma

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  9. My grandmother also had a silver tree with a color wheel...oh how I loved it!! No one seems to know what happened to that tree but a few years ago we had renters move out and in the trash was the most beautiful silver tree...all the pieces and each in its' own sleeve...be still my heart. So it now shows up at Christmas...and I love the memories. Blessings, Dianntha

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  10. I love you story today of the tree, it would mean so much to your grandmother to know how much her memories are to you.we didn't have any tree like that, but when i see them i thought they was so pretty and the family that had them was rich, it funny how kids think. we alway grew up with a cedar trees,and mom would always had the bubble light on them which has a lot of memory.have a bless day!

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  11. I love your story! Love the tree! A women after my own heart... cookies with breakfast! Your kids will remember you with fondness... one day!

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  12. How fortunate to have such memories!

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  13. Great story! Its a great tree!

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  14. We had an aluminum tree that was green on one side of the "needles" and blue on the other, with blue balls. The tree downstairs was a white flocked one, very messy. :) Thanks for the memories!

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  15. Brings back lots of memeories. When I was a kids this is the only kind of tree we ever had. I always hated it but now wish I had it. Have a great weekend.

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  16. My grandmother had a tree like this............I loved that tree.......it will always be associated with her........thanks for the memory.

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  17. We grew up with a silver tree too! Plus, we had that rotating disc of light behind it. We thought we were so cool! And, our grandmother loved to eat her dessert before supper. That way she wouldn't get too full for her sweet treat!

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  18. We never had an aluminum tree, but we had a pink plastic one! I was so disappointed when my mother threw it away. It was so ugly you just had to love it. Earlier this year I was browsing ebay and ran across listings for both styles of trees. Boy, were they pricey! Sure wish momma hadn't thrown her tree away.

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  19. My aunt and uncle (who were "rich") had a silver tree with a color wheel. When it went out of style they gave it to my mom and she used it in the early 70's when my baby sister was little (I was 17 when she was born). My sister loved it and really wanted one (she's 38 now)...so last year I found one on clearance at Hobby Lobby and bought it for her. She loves it because it reminds her of home. Thanks for sharing your story. It was sweet.

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  20. Love this story! Reminded me of my beloved grandma, who was born in 1899. She too loved her ice cream before bed every night! My fondest memories are spending weekends at her house. She was crafty, sewed all my Barbie clothes, and I remember a little pink Christmas tree she made out of layers of pink tulle, all dropped onto a tall candle as the "trunk". Then she sewed little Christmas balls onto the tulle. I don't know what happened to the tree. I would LOVE to have it now! Our grandmothers sound like they were kindred spirits! By the way, THANK YOU for my package that came yesterday..I ordered 2 of your patterns, the basket one, and the roosters...can't WAIT to sew them up!!! Carol

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  21. Love your silver tree! I used to think they were pretty atrocious too, but have come to see the light. Saw one in a store display recently with dusty pink ornaments and lots of glitter and it was gorgeous! Love, love your story about your grandmother - she sounds like a great role model!

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  22. We had one of these aluminum trees with a color wheel when I was young. We would lay on the floor and watch the reflection of the color wheel on the ceiling and pretend we were in Hawaii! Thanks for the memory!

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  23. Great memories of a really cool g. grandmother! My grandma had an aluminum tree too and I also loved it. Sadly hers was thrown out somewhere along the way, but I found a small one in a shop a few years ago and I put the decorations from when I was a baby on it. Never fails to make me smile!

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  24. My grandmother also had a tree like that with the rotating light to make it turn colors. I thought it was the most beautiful thing! I also have some plastic ornaments that look like a carrousel, but in the center there is a little fan blade. When you hang the ornie over the tree light bulb, it spins from the rising heat. They don't spin so fast if you use todays lights, but those bigger bulbs from the 5o's and 60's made them spin like crazy.
    My Nana taught me to embroider and from there came my love of making things.
    We used to bake cookies together, and she made all sorts of candies. Fudge and taffy and caramels and peanut brittle...oh, her peanut brittle! I have her recipes, but it has been a trial and error thing...she wrote ingredients, but not measurements...she only hinted at 'how much'.

    Thanks for the wonderful memories!

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  25. We had an aluminium tree when I was young. I remember putting it up with my mum, each branch came in a colour coded tube according to size. There were some small cuts too from the aluminium 'leaves'. I was always disappointed in the tree as we couldn't have lights on it. You have brought back a sweet memory.

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