Putting Up The Tree

lulie___wayneDecember 15, 2004

For some, putting up a Christmas tree for the first time after our loved ones have left can be very hard.

After my daughter, Christin, left us we put a tree up but it wasn't the same kind of tree as it always was in the past. I decided to put our Christmas tree up in memory of her and have continued to do so for the past 6 years. I decorate it with 19 white roses in memory of each of her years with us, silver, white, and crystal balls, a large, beautiful angel on top and white garland. It really is pretty and it is special since it is in memory of Christin. I will have a red rose in memory of my mom also this Christmas.

A friend of mine saw it for the first time last year and told me yesterday that she was so impressed with mine that she wanted to put a tree up in memory of her son decorated with red birds since that is her "symbol" for him since he left. He has been gone for over 7 years and she had not put a tree up since he left. She put her tree up the other night and is so pleased with it.

So, my point is that if any of you are having a hard time putting a regular Christmas tree up, you may want to do something like this in memory of your loved one. That way, you can create something beautiful, memorialize your loved one, and also have a Christmas tree as you always have before your loved one left.


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Lu, Your tree sounds beautiful and what a wonderful idea! I don't know if you have the capability of getting a picture of it on here for us to see but if you do I would love to see it. You've got my wheels turning - I think I'm going to do something similar with a small tree that Bob used to decorate for our bar area. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 6:58AM
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Lu, what a wonderful message. This is a beautiful way to handle the holidays.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 4:53AM
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Nell Jean

Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration, Lulie.
I finally put up a small tree, white with red and gold balls, angels both homemade and purchased, hearts and horns. Sort of a 'Joy to the World' kind of theme. This is a special ornament from The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.

Every Day's a Gift


    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 7:32PM
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Leogirl, I'm just now getting to this post as I've been out of town and we just returned a few hours ago. Been busy.
I found this ugly picture of DH and me last year with a little of the tree in the background. Sorry more of it doesn't show and sorry that it is blurry. If you look closely, you can see the little white roses. I'll try to find another one or two with more of the tree showing. I don't have anymore discs for my camera now, so I can't take a picture of the tree now.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 9:17PM
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Lu - I see enough of the tree to see that it is as beautiful as I imagined. Nice picture of the two of you, too! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 7:07AM
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Thanks,Leogirl. I found this one and again, it's not a close up, but you can get the idea. I believe this was last year and I had not finished putting the presents under the tree. Wish I had waited until it was filled. We used to have a huge, live, tree, but after Christin left we just didn't want to anymore. I'm happy with this one.
Last year after Christmas, I left the lights and beads and tinsel on it and put it up in the attic just like that. This year, DH just had to get it down for me and plop it in place. LOL Wish I had a closet that I could just roll it in to, all decorated and then the next Christmas just pull it out. If we ever build another house, I'll have a "Christmas tree closet".
By the way, my MIL made the snowflakes on the tree.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 10:24AM
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I lost my mother two years ago at Christmas while she was vacationing with my family. My mother was always really big on Christmas and loved my decorations. I will admit that I tend to overdecorate to the point that my house resembles a Victorian era Christmas store! I loved your idea to decorate your tree in memory of your daughter. My problem is not with my tree, but with the fact that I just can't motivate myself to put up my miniature Christmas village last year or now. It was my mother's favorite part of my Christmas decor, as it is very intricate, with sixteen different little shops and such, bridges, horses and carriages, street lanterns and a variety of little people sledding, caroling etc. and even includes a skating pond in the centre of the "village" with little skaters that skate around to Christmas music. The thing that bothers me is that I'm aware that she'd be sad to know I haven't put it up since she died, as it gave her so much enjoyment. Now if only I can think of a way I can memorialize my mom with the miniature village, maybe I can put it up again.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 1:02AM
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Last year after Christmas I picked up one of those silver table top trees. I remember thinking what the heck would I do with this but it was only a buck or two and I couldn't resist. Plus it came stored in a cylinder container so when you pulled it out it was like presto tree! Any ways, while struggling to decorate this Christmas I came across it. I put it in the bathroom in a silverish holder and hung purple cancer ribbons on it that I had made. I also strung some very pretty purple and clear lights around the mirror . This may sound like a tacky place to do all this but it actually looks very pretty and elegant, especially when only the festive lights are on and nothing else. Purple is the color for pancreatic cancer awareness so the purple and silver combo is stunning. Next to the tree sits a PanCan lavender bear (looks like a Beenie Baby). My mother passed away this past Sept after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June of this year. I also have a full size Christmas tree in the family room but this little tree is extra special to me. Thanks for letting me share my own little memory tree story. Merry Christmas everyone.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 2:30AM
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pickyshopper, I don't think you should feel sorry about not putting up your village this year or last. It's a way to acknowledge your sadness and loss; you cannot ignore that. Know what....one year soon you will feel inspired to put it up again, and you'll be thinking, "Mom would love this!" And by then maybe you'll think of some piece to add or a change to make in the set-up which will reflect her memory.

My mother used to sit and watch me set it up, making suggestions.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 10:39AM
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Pickyshopper, I'm trying to think of something that you could include in your Christmas village that would memorize your mom, but since I don't know her, it's hard for me to come up with something.
I don't know how long it takes to set it up, but since there is only a few days until Christmas, maybe you could just wait until next year and you'll have all year to think of something to add to the village for your mom. What is it made from? Maybe you could make something that symbolizes her life or what she loved to do in her life. Maybe something special that you and she did together, maybe a replica of your home that you grew up in with her, maybe something heavenly.
I can certainly understand your feelings.
Rachel, your decorations for your mom sound beautiful. I would love to see pictures, if you can.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 12:36PM
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Yes socks and Lulie, I think I won't stress about it this year as it takes half a day to set up and I'm just not ready to do it yet. The houses are made of porcelain and I bought them already painted. The only thing I can think of is to maybe buy an unpainted ceramic house from a craft store, paint it to look like the house I grew up in and put our old address on it. I think my mom would have liked something like that. Best wishes to everyone for the holidays.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 6:00PM
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Friday went pretty well. I even went to a Christmas snack party (LOL) with my fellow employees. I only went for the last half of it and someone picked me up so I didn't have to go alone. There were lots of hugs and questions about Aaron and I got through it without crying. Gary set up the Christmas tree while I was gone. He put lights on it Saturday morning.

I expected Saturday to go fairly well but it was a Cryday for me. I made a wreath for Aaron's grave marker from the bottom part of the Christmas tree. It was nice to take it out to the cemetery but of course we had to cry some. When we got home Gary went to the store and I was going to sew or wrap presents. I put the ornaments on the tree instead. Most of them are personal ones and I cried cried cried every time I came to one of Aaron's. I was going to share them with the rest of the family but I just can't part with them. I didn't put them on the tree yet. Then I just started missing Aaron so very much. I was alone so I cried some more. When Gary came home I told him I just can't bear not having Aaron here. I cried some more. I went to church with Gary and with Aaron's wife this morning and I have cried a lot today. I just feel so overwhelmingly sad. I can console myself by knowing he is with the Lord but that doesn't stop me from missing him. I still can't believe he is never coming home again....

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 8:04PM
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Carol, that seems to be my only consolation... knowing that our children are with God. There are some new people here and I may share my "dream" experience with them in another post. To me, Christin was trying to show me just how very happy she is. It was an indescribable happiness that I have never ever experienced in this life. Every time I really miss Chris, I think of the gift that I was given that morning in my sleep.
I just got in and I am tired and want to go get ready for bed, but I'll try to post it soon for those of you who haven't seen it yet. I guess I should post it every so often for new people. It is sacred to me and I truly believe that it was a gift from above.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christin Cosby Memorial Web Site

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 10:47PM
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I put my tree up yesturday. I feel very proud as I wasn't going to bother this year. It was very emotional as I always keep last yrs christmas cards and the 1st one I picked up was the one my husband and I sent Adam last yr. I decided to put the old cards up too even the ones from my dear dad just as a reminder for me even though Adam was quite poorly last christmas.
All everyone kept saying to me was that Adam wouldn't want you to be like this etc, etc, but they don't understand the way we all do.
christmas greetings to all of you xxxxxxx

    Bookmark   December 20, 2004 at 2:34AM
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