Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Part II: A Christmas Tree Tour

Welcome to your official guided tour of Nell's Christmas Tree!

Alright, as you know, when you get "real" trees, they are not groomed beautifully like trees from a tree lot, but I think their bushiness and asymmetry adds character, and fits in nicely with my homemade country tree look.  Some people have gorgeous, sparkly trees that have class, elegance, and the WOW factor.  You won't find that here.  Nope.  There's nothing shiny on my tree. 

Every ornament on my tree was either hand made, or represents a memory that we wanted to cherish forever.  Hanging the ornaments on my tree is like a walk down memory lane.  I love it!

When friends come over to my house, they linger in front of the tree forever.  There are so many ornaments, that you've just got to sit and take it all in, carefully looking at each one.

(Sorry for the bad picture...I wish I was a better photographer!)

There are strings of pine cones, red wooden beads, wooden spools, and fake barbed wire strung around the tree. There are also strips of homespun and bandanna material tied in knots on the edges of the branches.

Many of my ornaments are made of rusty metal.

These are some of the first ornaments I ever made for my very first Christmas tree.  They are all made of some type of dough...salt dough that we painted, gingerbread dough, and cinnamon dough that smells heavenly on the tree!

 Do you see that gingerbread man ornament up above? I originally made about 20 of them, but only have a handful left because late one night, back in the day when my old cow dog was just a pup, he snuck out to the tree, and ate every freshly made gingerbread ornament he could reach...and then he spit out the metal hooks.  I learned quickly to hang them up high so he wouldn't have the opportunity for midnight snacking!

This is my absolute FAVORITE ornament.  I will cherish it FOREVER.  My husband and I had been dating for less than 3 months when I invited him over to my tiny little kitchen to make Christmas ornaments with me and my mom.  This was his only contribution that day.  Now, 10+ years of marriage, and 3 kids later, it means so much more to me!  It has a special place of honor at the top of the tree, just below the angel.

Of course, our tree wouldn't be complete without LOTS of cow ornaments.  Although we raise beef cattle now, I worked on a large dairy through-out my college years.  I just love my cow ornaments.

Do you see "Shotgun shell Santa"? He's very popular on our tree.  Every redneck needs an ornament made from ammunition.  Also, I love my old spoon ornament.  It's amazing what you can do with old stuff!

Here are some more of my favorites.  My mom made the sheep ornament the one year that we had sheep.  My husband sold them for a handsome profit 8 months after we got married because he said that he was a cattleman, not a sheep farmer.  I loved those sheep, though.  Their lambs were so precious!

Do you see the fake barbed wire next to the bandanna star?  I bought rolls of it at the dollar store in the Halloween section a few years back, and paid $0.50 for it!  I think it adds a little something to my western tree.
Hidden deep in the branches of our tree, is my childrens' favorite ornament.  Do you see why?

I also have three little fake trees in the corner of my kitchen to hang my kitchen themed ornaments on.

I just love my little antique replicas!

I know that most people wouldn't like, or even care about any of my ornaments, but they are priceless to me.  My family will often point to an ornament, and then tell a 10 minute story that goes along with it.  It's like preserving the important events in our lives with little keepsake ornaments.  The entire Christmas season, we reflect back on warm memories of days gone by.


  1. Your tree looks beautiful Nellie, my heart chuckled when I saw the "Chicky" ornament. That cow was one for the books. :) And, of course, those gingerbread men will always be associated with Boone. :) Hmmm, I wonder if he remembers that Christmas snack...I'm sure he's to busy reminscing how he use to run free in Colorado after cows and horses. Oh my, the memories of your first snow...Oh goodness the trip down memory lane has begun...I'd best end. Mom

  2. Beautiful!!!! I LOOOOVE your tree! :) The ornaments are awesome!!!