Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The Cloth Tree
Many years ago, I lived with my husband and small son in a tiny little house. One particular Christmas season, we'd just found out we were expecting twins and were in the process of looking for a larger house. As you can imagine, the tiny little house was in disarray. We only had a four foot tree, but we had simply NO room to put it. What to do? How will we put up a tree this year?
Feeling creative, I used an old sheet as a backdrop and cut out a large green triangle that I sewed to the sheet. Then, my husband and stepdaughter helped me "decorate" our tree. We hung it up over a window and strung lights around it. The gifts stacked underneath it against the wall.
Each year following, I would come across this silly little tree as I unpacked the Christmas tree and decorations. Usually, I'd just refold the cloth tree and put it back in the box. But, the tree held a special sentiment to my husband, and I guess to me as well, because I could never bring myself to throw it away.
This year, when I unpacked the boxes, I had an idea. With the help of my 5 children, we spent a fun evening cutting out and decorating little paper "gifts." My husband laminated each one, and I attached velcro to the backs and to the old, white sheet. I also used different strips of felt to create a border--no, I had never actually "finished" the edges of the tree backing.
Now, each day from December 1 to December 24, someone puts up a numbered gift as we count UP to Christmas. By Christmas eve, the little cloth tree will be surrounded with 24 happily colored gifts. Now, at last, our little cloth tree serves a purpose in our home. And each member of the family has a part in it.
I'm curious. What family traditions have you started? Or what traditions do you carry on from generations past?