Friday, December 23, 2011

Tour de Tree - Welcome to My Evergreen

This is my Christmas tree for 2011:
Kinda looks like an A.D.D. elf threw up on it.

I have several friends with impeccable taste whose trees look like they could be department store window displays. They're gorgeous. And organized. And Feng Shui'ed.
Mine is not. 
But, what I like about mine, despite its unorganized elf-vomit-ness, is that it is unique. And it represents my family.

Would you like a tour? 
I hope so. Because otherwise I just wasted a whole lot of space on my iPhone

Dear People: Voilá, Le Tour de Tree de Famille Miller! I'll try to keep it short.

Fasten your eyes upon that angel-topper. It's the only domestic thing I've ever done in my life. It took me four hours to make. It took my friends 1. I had a headache all the way down to my ankles by the end of it all. I carry it with me everywhere I go.

This little dude is from Germany. I bought him there myself when I was a mere 24 years old. It was the second time I'd been there. I was retrieving my brother from a 2-year stint in Austria, and we detoured to our former German stomping grounds near Kaiserslautern. I bought the little archer (who appears to be eating his bow) at a store called "Harry's" that catered to Americans.
That wasn't short. I promised to make this short. I'll do better.

Homemade by my kid. A billion years ago when she was in elementary school. I heart it.

Another homemade-by-my-kid there in the background. I have two of those glittery paper-plate doves. I like to tuck them into big empty spaces.
The chimney sweep is one of the first ornaments our family bought when we moved to Germany in 1975. I loved his tiny-ness. The stars are one of the first I bought when I married and settled in the Rockies. I loved their hangy-ness.

Cute little angel riding a deer delivering a tree. Another from 1975. It's very petite. 
The fan is from my sister, who felt sorry for my lack of Christmas decorations when I first married, and made me some cute ornaments. She's the artistic one. She'd have made the angel-topper in 15 minutes flat. With a 5 minute break in the middle.
This is still not short.

My little bro just sent me this plaid fisherman. It's a Steinbach, from Germany. All these little red-nosed guys are Steinbach. I hearty-heart-heart Steinbach.

I have a series of these little flat angels on the tree. They were the second set of ornaments my mom bought for our first European Christmas, lo those many years ago.
That gorgeous Waterford Crystal tree in the background was given to me by my best childhood friend shortly after I married. (Hey, Cappy!)

Hand-melted glass nativity. I think we bought it at the Christkindelsmarkt in Nuremberg. We always hang it near a light so it will glow. My 2nd daughter-child insists. 

One of the Three Kings. I have two of him, one of the other, and none of the last. Wha?

Love this guy. He's from East Germany. I think. Might have been Romania. I was a kid. What do I know? I love how the wood is stained rather than painted up.

Candy Cane Santa is one of the first ornaments I bought after having my 3rd child (I accidentally typed "34th child." Sometimes I think that's true.) Note the king in the background. He and another king were also bought at the Christkindelsmarkt. We only have two. Someday I'll tell you why my sister only bought two. Someday. Note the blob of glue on his hand where his gift should be. Breaks off every year. This year he's giving a blob of glue, because I'm tired of fixing it.

This is my oldest girl-child when she was just a few days old. Notice her wicked awesome eyebrows. She still has those. Also her freaking scalp-load of hair. Still has that too. My step-father ran out and had this made at K-Mart right after I gave birth to her. She's pretty cool. So is my step-father. 

Original art by the wife of my son's former percussion teacher. Her name is Lynde Mott, and she is brilliant. Her house is a work of art. Her porch is a work of art. Someday I'll hire her to paint some of my walls. When I'm rich. Next Friday. (I have goals.)

Original art by my kid. Its a matched set. And I think it is really cool. We got us some future famous pasta artists in our house. They already do my walls.

Germany juxtaposed with the Wild West.

See the other Pasta Tree in the upper left corner? Told you it was a matched set. There's also a little popsicle-stick Santa one of my kidlets made on the right. 
But the real focus here is the origami crane. My fabulously talented and lovely friend Robin (of Rurification) made it. She sends me a new one every year. They're all on my tree. It's totally cool.

Aw. This brings a tear to my eye. I bought this about 5 months after we moved to our village of Katzenbach. I was 10 years old. I remember taking my meager money, gathering up my courage and my older sister, and walking to the next village (Hutchenhausen) to a toy store. There I found some little pinecone angels and walnut Santas. I bought them. I think they cost 3 or 4 Deutschmarks all together. (So like, $1.50 or $2.00) *weep*

Robin of Rurification Alert! Yep. She made me a set of gorgeous little stuffed hearts when we were just about to move away from Indiana at the end of graduate school. I love them. Also note the flat angel, and the German mushroom, and the American Santa that looks like it is sinking into Quick-Fir-Tree-Sand. Yep. No pattern at all to my decorating. 

Are you sick of this yet? German dude on the left, Rocky Mountain dude on the right. Costco icicle in the middle. Beads from Idon'trememberwhere in the back.

Rrrrright! Wee li'tle Santa grippin' a tree and a wooden thingy. Bein' watched over by a Scottish Clothespin Reindeer made by a kid. Probably mine. They have them near Glasgow, don't you know. Clothespin Reindeer, not my kid. I made that up.

Second King in the series of two.

Hahahaha! Funny memory. At least to me. This one is from Florida. My hub and I were with our fabu friends, the Macfarlanes. We had left the Rockies for graduate school in Indiana. We hadn't seen the Macs in ages. So, we met in Florida for the new year, and partayed hartay. One day we found a Mall. I mean a MALL! WE'D NEVER SEEN A MALL BEFORE! And it had bookstores and Christmas stores! AND EVERYTHING! So we spent a million dollars on books SO WE COULD BRING THEM HOME AND, SAINTS BE PRAISED, READ! And then we bought ornaments. I bought a series of Terra Cotta St. Nicks.
(So. It's possible that we were high on friendship and giddy on being young, in love, and on our own, and we went overboard on the shopping-thing. I don't know why we thought it was such an amazing thing to find a mall in Florida.)

Are you still with me? Because I would totally understand if you weren't. I'd be hurt, but I'd understand. This is the last ornament. Well, the last one I took a picture of. Mostly because dinner was done, and I'm so a.d.d. that I put down the phone, then lost it because I couldn't' remember where I put it, and then I didn't feel like taking any more pictures. Aren't you lucky?

This is a German Christmas Witch.
I don't know why.
She just is.
And she's adorable. Love her and her little crow. She probably brings good luck.
See? It works! I'm lucky that you're still reading this thing!

Well. Thank you for being here. And I hope you, and yours, and your tree, will have a lovely, marvelous, happy holiday this year.

Merry Christmas!


Robin said...

I love your tree! I love the stories! Thanks for the pics. I heart them.

jenna said...

i just had so much fun going on your tour. I do believe the pasta ornaments are my favorite. I'm sentimental that way.

jenna said...

i copied you shamelessly. Others should too!


Maegan Langer said...

I hearty-heart-heart this post! I'm a fan of random ornaments, too. I'd much rather have a tree that looks like an elf threw up all over it than a color-coordinated one.

Janiel Miller said...

Thanks guys! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed doing it. I'm mostly glad you didn't die of bordom and leave. I was afraid you might. To celebrate, I added one of the ornaments I forgot to post: a ceramic globe with a picture of my newborn first child on it. You don't have to go look. But you could. If you wanted to. :)

Jenna, I loved your tour! I love your slightly subversive ornaments--i.e., Jack Skelington. So cool.

And Robin, I saw that hand blown candy cane ornament on your blog--it's beautiful!

Janiel Miller said...

Maegan - This is why we are friends.

Norma Beishir said...

I prefer your tree to those "designer" trees. For my own tree, I like multicolored lights (and if they blink, all the better). Each of my ornaments has a very personal significance.

Merry Christmas!cro

William Kendall said...

Now that's an amazing Christmas tree!

Russo said...

I had to come back at check out your holiday decorations. Maybe I am missing the festive lights or something. I adore the stockings hanging.

I am still snorting at 'unorganized elf-vomit-ness' I love your wit.

I also adore your hand-melted glass nativity. My family has an angel one like that from all-a-dollar :) Not as cool as yours from Nuremberg (where is Nuremberg?) I'm gonna look that up, sounds cool!

I also like your Three Kings ornament, he looks happy. And theTerra Cotta St. Nicks story made me smile.

This, my dear friend, is a clever idea for a blog post!