Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Tree and Making Treats

We bought this tree 2 days before Melody was born. It was 75% off at Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts Store, so it was a steal. It even has lights strung on there already. We never even had the chance to put it into storage and drove to the hospital with the tree in the back of the car. I knew I wanted to have a tree for Melody because I grew up with a tree and have many fond memories.When my parents divorced 4 years ago, they had to sell their house. My father and sister were going to be moving into a 2 bedroom apartment. During the time when we were packing things up and throwing things away, vultures descended on our house. I called these people vultures because they practically took anything they could get their hands on. I was only able to go back a few times to help them clean, so I wasn't there that much. My father was pretty distraught and didn't really care about anything. It was DH, me and my sister who got the house ready for the movers. What we didn't know was that my father let the vultures take our huge Christmas Tree and all the ornaments. Ornaments that we collected since we were kids. And some ornaments that my sister made in grade school with her name on it (it was a cute Rudolph the reindeer made out of clothespins).
When we first found out, we asked my father to ask for it back, but he said he couldn't. Though he had no had no problem asking for furniture pieces back when he bought a house a year later. Anyway, my sister and I have been pretty upset about it for the last 4 years. It was our thing to put up the tree and we would always save our favorite ornaments for last. It was these two crystal candy canes. We always thought that when we grew up, we would each take take one for our own tree. I have been pretty upset since Thanksgiving when we put up our own tree. It reminded me that we lost all our ornaments, all those memories.Now that I have my own child, I decided that I am going to make my own Christmas ornaments. The plan is that I will make a new ornament each year. When Melody is old enough, we will make the ornaments together. I think it will be wonderful to see a tree full of memories and special ornaments. I started off Melody's First Christmas with 5 knitted Baby Santa Ornaments, one to represent each of us in the family. As you can see, I only managed to get initials on for Melody, Napoleon and Caesar's hat. I was having trouble embroidering and kept trying different techniques. I will get mine and DH's initials on after I get back.And on the back, the numbers 08 to represent the year that I made it. For the pattern, you can get it here. It's quick and easy and it only took me a day to knit all 5 hats.This little bear is super cute. It's knit flat and then seamed up with the ribbon tucked in the head. I want to make more, maybe next year. The free pattern can be found here.On the top left, I filled empty glass globes with the yarn ends I had to snip off when making the hats and the bear. They look very festive with the colorful yarns in them.I know the tree looks sparse, but I don't mind. It's a work in progress for me and I can't wait until Melody can join in the fun. DH had Melody pick out a pack of minature Sesame Street ornaments. He held up two different packages and she grabbed for the Sesame Street one. She is in love with Elmo lately. On the top right, you can spot Big Bird dangling there. We also had some simply felt ornaments that I had bought last year. I need an idea for the Tree Top. Something knitted would be great, but I have until next Christmas to get that done.
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I spent the beginning of the week locked in the kitchen making treats.Right to left: Pecan Almond Chocolate Toffee from the book, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, Homemade Marshmallows from Martha Stewart, and Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies.I packed up 20 assorted packages and brought it to my Wednesday night knitting group. I think it was a good sign when one of the ladies, Judy, polished off all her toffee with her cup of coffee.

I also made enough to send a few packages out to friends. I am not saying who because I want them to be surprised. I hope the marshmallows last because fresh marshmallows dry out faster. Eat them first! Or use it in your hot cocoa.
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I am now in Massachusetts for the Holidays. We drove from NYC on Friday morning and it only took us 8 1/2 hours (normally it is a 4 hour drive). We got caught in a huge snow storm. The conditions were so scary. I was car sick for most of the trip. Melody could not fall asleep and ended up screaming and crying from Rhode Island to Massachusetts. The boys (Napoleon & Caesar) were whining to get out. We finally had to stop and let them out. It was snowing so hard, you couldn't see past your hand. Napoleon had a coat on, but was so cold, he stood there shivering and wanted to go back into the car immediately. Caesar and his mighty fur coat was fine. He did his business and ran around for a bit before going back to the car. Napoleon basically held it for the 8 1/2 hour drive. They are very good boys.

We are spending the weekend in the North Shore with my mom and will be heading down to the South Shore for the rest of the week.

Are you all done with your holiday gifts or shopping? I am done and actually brought a knitting project for this trip that is just for me. Selfish knitting! I think it was more wishful thinking than anything because I am so tired right now and knitting is the last thing I want to do. Good luck to everyone that is still working on your gifts.

24 comments:

Nettie said...

What happened to your ornaments sucks. I only celebrated Christmas with my dad's family and it was never very festive or traditional. I sometimes wish I had some kind of tradition to continue with my children.

I think it's great that you want to make new memories with Melody! Your ornaments are so cute, I love the little hat's :D

Maybe you can make a large hat like them for a tree topper?

Jennie said...

I think it's lovely that you are starting your own christmas tradition with the ornaments.

Merry christmas.

caitlyn said...

I like how you are developing your own family traditions!
Your knitted ornaments are SO adorable!

Araceli said...

Love your handmade Christmas tree ornaments….. they are so pretty.

Julie said...

How awful that your childhood ornaments went AWOL. I guess dads just really don't understand those things. Mom still has those sorts of things but since I live furthest away I'm always last in line when she decides it's time to pass on stuff. That's what happened when she passed out photos.

I love the new ornaments you made. I started making my own ornaments when I was pregnant with Chris so we do have a lot of hand made stuff on the tree.

The marshmallows should be good for at least a week in an airtight container. They never last longer than that in my house. I use that same recipe, gosh those are good.

I was supposed to go to a holiday party today but I think we are going to try to dig out and go finish up our holiday shopping between storms. I really want to hit Burdick's in Harvard square for chocolate for the boys but I'm totally stuck on what to get for DH.

Jeanne said...

Sorry to hear what happened to your childhood ornaments - I know it must be hard. But your handmade ornaments are so cute, and what a great tradition you are starting.

Rima said...

Seeing your xmas tree and reading your story makes me realize even more how much I miss being with my family during this time. Your tree is beautiful, and so are all the handmade ornaments. Your daughter will have lovely memories.

Susan said...

Both of my parents have passed away so I understand how those little things from your past can mean so much. i am sorry for your loss, that is upsetting.

I love how you are starting from scratch to make your own tree. You can save everything for Melody and pass that on to her when she is older. That is a wonderful thing.

Have a great holiday and be safe with your travels.
susan

Andee said...

My grandmother used to buy us each an ornament every year and put the year on the back/bottom of it. When she passed the same year my oldest son was born (he has one ornament from her!) I continued the tradition with my own children. Every year I buy an ornament that reminds me of something from the year (they were into fishing, or dance, or played trumpet, etc.) and write the year on it. With three kids the tree got really full..when the kids moved out I sent their collection with them and they have a tree's worth of decorations. It was my favorite gift to buy every year and I often shopped for it for months! I love your idea of making one every year too! Nice job of turned a not so good memory into a happy ending!

flanthrower said...

Wow! What a post! I thought of you the other night as the snow was really coming down here and am glad to hear that you and your family got to MA safely (even if it took forever). I think it's great that you've started a new tradition with the ornaments.

I had some grand plans to make a bunch of last-minute Christmas gifts and bake this weekend but I've been hit with a nasty cold and don't know how much I'll be able to squeeze in. If I feel a little better I may just give up and buy some things.

Muddling Through said...

It IS sad that you've lost those ornaments, but they live on in your memory and you can still enjoy them there. Better still, you are makng new memories with your own little family. I love the ornaments you have knitted!

Rest up and have a very Merry Christmas!

Hugs and kisses,
Elaine

hetty said...

Sorry to hear of your lost ornaments. I can understand how bad that must make you feel. But now you are starting new memories with you family. Your little ornaments are lovely. When Melody is old enough to help create them it will be even more fun. Soon you will have a tree so full of homemade things that you will have to decide which ones to put on and which ones to leave off because the tree will not be big enough. Since you love to create things in the kitchen I thought I would share this with you... One of the things I used to do when my kids were very small was bake cookies in a wreath shape or with a hole (made with a straw) at the top to put a ribbon through and hang on the tree. I also used to make chocolates in shapes that could hang on the tree. Those were always winners. And... there was nothing to clean up! Everything just got licked clean!!!

Agnes said...

I'm sorry to read your upsetting story ... I understand that because I too have been keeping those Christmas ornaments since I came here in the States and every year I would buy at least one new one to add to the lot. But when what was done can't be undone, you just have to let go ... don't let the unhappiness built up inside you for too long.
This year we have a real tree because the husband loves the aroma of the tree ...
Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year ahead.

*karen said...

Oh, the story about your family divorcing and the tree...oh, so, so sad. And even sadder that people don't realize that that's an important part of your life they're making off with! It's value is beyond money.

I think it's sweet and wonderful that you are thinking of Melody and the memories you want her to cherish.

And, your ornaments are the best!

littlebirdbigcity said...

you've been so busy! I really love that little bear ornament, so cute! Have a wonderful holiday, and I'll see you when you get back.

quilterlee said...

So sorry to hear of your childhood ornaments. It is lovely that you are making new memories with handmade ornametns for your young family. Before you know it your daughter will be making ornaments for your family tree which you will cherish more than any other ornaments.

handknit168 said...

beautiful knittined ornaments.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hannah said...

Oh, your knitted ornaments are so precious...! I still haven't had time to really make any, so my tiny tree only has plain blue orbs again.

Stephanie said...

wow! you've been busy! Those ornaments are absolutely adorable :) Safe travels with all the winter weather - and happy holidays!

rohanknitter said...

I'm so sorry you don't have those special childhood ornaments any more - it's hard when things like that happen. At least you can start something special with your own family , I hope that helps.....the ornaments you knit are super cute!

Rebekah said...

how sad that your childhood ornaments are no longer with you! I think I had a clothespin reindeer growing up too!

Your treats look so yummy! Enjoy your Christmas with family!

bzsclmom said...

As the youngest daughter in my family, I only got one ornament from our family tree-so when I got married, I started buying an ornament every year for my dh and myself, and then also one for each of my children every year for when they move out or get married.
Some of my favorite memories are from the years we made ornaments with the children-the clothespin toy soldiers, the snowmen, the handprints. Such fun! Let the making be part of the fun of collecting for you, and make sure you make enough to keep one for yourself when they grow up!

JL said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family, may happiness be with you always and stay warm.

Kirsten said...

I am so sorry about the lost ornaments, that is really awful, I have such fond memories of our childhood ornaments. I think creating new ones sounds wonderful, I love the Santa hats and will try that for next year. B and I made some fun elf ornaments this year, would be a great one for Melody when she is older as it was easy for him to string the beads.

We are all ready over here, some sewing and some shopping, but tried to stick to small, independent locally owned stores. Have a very Merry Christmas!