Friday, December 09, 2005


I was putting up a little tree this year. I decided not to put up the big one, and just use the now antique glass ornaments that used to hang on my childhood Christmas tree. While rooting through the closet I came across two boxes of icicles that I found in an antique shop last year. I was thrilled when I found these unopened boxes of old German icicles. it amazed me the flood of memories these simple old boxes, of what some call tinsel, brought back to me. When I was a kid, my mother made a big deal about putting these things on the Christmas tree. We got them out every year, because we would re-use them. Probably because they quit making them for some reason, and came out with those flimsy, floaty bright silver icicles. Every year we would get out our old icicles that were wrapped in a sheet of "tin foil", and it was my bother's and my job to straighten each one between our thumb and forefinger. In the early years, we had to fold a little hook on the end and hang them one by one. Later, we were allowed to fold them in half and hang them that way. When we were young, the job of applying them to the branches belonged only to my mother. My brother and I would straighten them, and she would lay them across her forearm. They had to be put on the branches from the inside out, and from the bottom of the tree to the top. The tree would shimmer, and every darn time someone would come in the door, the wind would blow the icicles and we would have to fix them. Gosh, how I hated those things. I swore that I would never put them on my tree.. and I never have. I always thought they were made out of aluminum. Now I see that they were really made out of LEAD. No wonder they stopped making them. My husband says this explains a lot about me. Funny guy.
I couldn't find my box of old pictures.So I couldn't find that picture of the tree with my new bike. I found this photo though, I don't know why the quality looks so bad here,I scanned it from an old Poloroid photo. (click on the photo, it will enlarge it and you will get better quality) but hopefully you will get the idea what the tree looked like. I must have caught my family for a photo during one of my mom's icicle applications. As you can see, my brother is happy, probably happy for the break from straightening. Maybe his little fingers were tired. My sweet father was so sick. He had heart disease and died a couple of years after this picture was taken. He seemed so old then, but he was only38 when this photo was taken. All of my family is gone now. But just the simple act of finding icicles in a antique store brought back memories long forgotten.
Hold your families close. I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas full of laughter and memories.


Scrapmaker said...

Liked your story about your childhood tree. We grew up in the same era. My family is gone now too, and my mom always did elaborate Christmas decorations. Thanks for bringing back memories. Jen

Debra Spincic said...

I actually found 2 boxes of the old fashioned tinsel last year at some place like Lowe's. I bought the boxes and hung the tinsel on the tree for Wes. He wanted it like when he was growing up. I decided to leave it on when we packed the tree away.

This year we put the tree up with the tinsel and lights already on it. That's it and I love it! I just need a pretty star for the top.