Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Christmas Tree

"I have been looking on, this evening, at a merry company of children assembled round that pretty German toy, a Christmas Tree. The tree was planted in the middle of a great round table, and towered high above their heads. It was brilliantly lighted by a multitude of little tapers; and everywhere sparkled and glittered with bright objects."

This quote from Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Tree' was a great influence in creating my own Christmas tree. I loved this short story and decided that I wanted to have a tree that looked like that Victorian tree.


A tree bursting with ornaments of all varieties. A tree that kept you looking over and over at what magical things it contained.


A tree that reminded you of the wonderful people who gave you a precious trinket to hang in it or a place where you found that special toy to hang on its branches.


"This motley collection of odd objects, clustering on the tree like magic fruit, and flashing back the bright looks directed towards it from every side, some of the diamond-eyes admiring it were hardly on a level with the table, and a few were languishing in timid wonder on the bosoms of pretty mothers, aunts, and nurses, made a lively realization of the fancies of childhood; and set me thinking how all the trees that grow and all the things that come into existence on the earth, have their wild adornments at that well-remembered time."


One reoccurring theme for me in my own tree is the Nutcracker. I have some of the various ballet dancers from the Nutcracker. Look closely and you will find Clara, The Rat King, The Nutcracker Prince, Arabian Coffee, Spanish Hot Chocolate, Chinese Tea, and even the Sugar Plum Fairy herself...


It holds icicles, teapots, Santas, birds, angels, bears and even a peacock...


Poinsettias, berries and tulips adorn some branches...


Pearls are draped like snow drops around the bows of the tree...


And then, perhaps most important, is the glass pickle in my tree. It was the last ornament to be hung in my tree. It is there hiding among the branches. It is a German tradition that the first to find the pickle in the tree is blessed in the coming year and receives an extra gift. This tradition is a favorite each year when I hold my quilt group's Christmas party. Tomorrow night, the ladies will search for the ornament. I cannot show it hanging in the tree for that reason. There is a special gift wrapped and ready for the one who discovers its hiding place tomorrow...

21 comments:

Sonja said...

Oh Heidi, what a wonderfull job you did in decorating your tree. This is really a super-tree! So much to see. I think tomorrow your ladies will have to take their chairs and gather around your tree. They will keep on looking at all the special beauties in your tree. (aspecially off course the pickle) Since you are miss Pickle yourself, that must have a special meaning for you. Wish you a wonderfull stitching evening tomorrow and lots of fun around your tree. en groetjes voor Jos en Dagi!

Rhonda in OK said...

Beautiful tree, Heidi!
Your ornaments are so special and I think the pearl garland looks perfect.

Saskia said...

O Good, good, good.
The tree looks perfect like always!
Watch out for a little 'smurf' that's comming youre way, to find the pickle miss Pickle.
Maybe this evening i sneak by....
O well, I can wait until tomorrow, no hugs first, need to find that green thing

Nancy said...

Well the tree looks beautiful as usual. I would hunt that pickle if I was there. Saskia sounds pretty determined to find it tomorrow night. Tell the quilt ladies hi for me, and tell me who finds it.
Love you, Mom

Mia said...

You tree looks just amazing, Heidi! All the lovely ornaments, it must have taken you ages to hang them all in the tree. But you have done well, despite the fact that you are not all well, which I am more than sorry to learn. And I do hope you are feeling better now, though, and that you were able to enjoy the process of decorating your gorgeous tree.

Regarding my Advent and Christmas tea; they taste just like... well Christmas, cinnamon, oranges, and all the lovely spices that we use at Christmas time. The flavor is all "round", warm and a wee bit sweet. If you can find Christmas tea in Holland I really would recommend you try some.

Hi, I'm Barbara from Missouri and.... said...

Heidi, your tree is beautiful, like everything you do.

Hugs,
Barbara/MO

Fran├žoise said...

Wonderfull!!!Wonderfull!!!
perfect!!
so so lovely!!!
Hugs
fran├žoise

Elizabeth-Plain and Simple said...

Heidi, your tree is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

Elizabeth

Pondside said...

What a pretty tree, Heidi! I spy the 'joy' ornament, and all the beautiful Nutcracker characters. I have my favorites for the tree too - these are what make the decorating a joy and not a chore - the 'oh I remember this one' and the 'I always get to hang this one, Mum' are things I count on hearing when the decorations come out.
What a lovely post!

Janneke said...

Goedemorgen Heidie,
What a beautiful Christmastree, i've never seen such a wonderful tree. I think i could stand next to the tree for hours, watching and finding and admiring all the very special ornaments. And then the story of the glass pickle....never heard it before...it's such a nice idea. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas party with your quilt group !!! Who will be the luckey one to find the pickle :)
Enjoy this special time and greetings to Jos.
Janneke.

ps. are you going to Cranberrie Cottage in the coming weeks ?

Ragged Roses said...

What a beautiful tree Heidi, it really is magical! I love all the ornaments, I must admit I've never heard of hiding a pickle amongst the branches, but it's a wonderful idea. My daughter has done a Christmas Carol for her school play this year so it was lovely to see a Victorian inspired tree on your blog. Take care
Kimxxx
So looking forward to seeing Cranford. Have you been watching Little Dorrit?

Mary said...

I'm enjoying your lovely tree Heidi - the Nutcracker characters are beautiful, Clara especially. I do love a traditional tree - some in the shops looked awful this year, purple, lilac colors - now isn't that ridiculous?

Lucky gal who finds the pickle - bet you have something gorgeous for her................think I'll check for last minute discount flights!!!! I wish. Instead I'm heading to New York on Friday and it's going to be COLD!!!

Wild Rose said...

Hello Heidi,

Your tree looks fabulous! I have never heard of this tradtion before, but it sounds like a lot of fun!

Marie x

Tone said...

Tell me just one thing - how many hours have you been decorating this tree? Wonderful. Just amazing - you are SO creative!!!
Hugs from Tone

Kristen said...

You could look forever and not see it all! Wow!!! Very nice Aunt Heidi!!!! Merry Christmas!!!

Carolien said...

Hello Heidi! I wish you a wonderful evening with your quiltladies!!!

Hugs, Carolien

the homely year said...

Oh, such a lovely tree...I love it when they have all different kinds of ornaments. I always save them from year to year and have kept some since the children were small.
Margaret and Noreen

Saskia said...

found it! found it!
Found the green pickle, miss pickle!!!
I will bring my magnifying-glass with me next year..... Gosh, you hid it well.
Hugs and thanx for the great evening!

Lynda ~ Among the Hedgerows said...

Your quilting group will have so much fun searching for the pickle ornament! You've done a great job with decorating your tree, Heidi.

I'm taking a blogging break over the holidays but wanted to stop by and wish you and Jos a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Have a wonderful holiday season, my dear friend!

**hugs**
Lynda
xo

Mandie said...

Beautiful tree! :o) You should be on the lookout for an envelope from me. :o) I doubt you will get it before Christmas, but at least you'll get it! :o) Love you! Oh and we got your package on Monday before we left for Ashville!

Linda said...

Heidi, your tree is just beautiful! I love the tradition of hiding the pickle...this is new to me...and I'm going to adopt it...Hugs, Linda