11/27/2009 - It's Now Day Two And Decorating Continues (Page Two)
We gave up yesterday and watched Christmas movies on TV. We hit the tree this morning and worked for hours.
Carri hands the decorations to Paul
1/3rd decorated! Hours to go!
Did you know? - The first decorated trees were adorned with apples, strings of popcorn, white candy canes and pastries in the shapes of stars, hearts and flowers. Glass baubles were first made in Lauscha, Germany by Hans Greiner who produced garlands of glass beads similar to the popcorn strands and tin figures that could be hung on trees. The popularity of these decorations grew into the production of glass figures made by highly skilled artisans with clay molds.
The artisans heated a glass tube over a flame, then inserted the tube into a clay mold, blowing the heated glass to expand into the shape of the mold. The original ornaments were only in the shape of fruits and nuts.
After the glass cooled, a silver nitrate solution was swirled into it, a silvering technique developed in the 1850s by Justus von Liebig. After the nitrate solution dried, the ornament was hand-painted and topped with a cap and hook.
Listen carefully Jon, Zack, Connor, and Theo
Did you know? - The first American made glass ornaments were created by William DeMuth in New York in 1870. In 1880, Woolworth's began selling Lauscha glass ornaments. Other stores began selling Christmas ornaments by the late 1800s and by 1910, Woolworth's had gone national with over 1000 stores bringing Christmas ornaments across America. New suppliers popped up everywhere including Dresden die-cut fiberboard ornaments which were popular among families with small children.
By the 1900s, Woolworth's had imported 200,000 ornaments and topped $25 million in sales from Christmas decorations alone. Today the Christmas decoration industry ranks second to gifts in seasonal sales. Gloria Duchin, Inc., just one of the industry's Christmas ornament manufacturers and designers today, has over 100 million ornaments in circulation and produces millions of new ornaments each year.
Paul and Carri... Decorators Par Excellence!
Did you know? - It is common to place a large star or angel at the top of the Christmas tree. Hans Christian Andersen's story of The Fir-Tree describes the decoration of a Danish Christmas tree:
On one branch there hung little nets cut out of colored paper, and each net was filled with sugarplums; and among the other boughs gilded apples and walnuts were suspended, looking as though they had grown there, and little blue and white tapers were placed among the leaves. Dolls that looked for all the world like men—the Tree had never beheld such before—were seen among the foliage, and at the very top a large star of gold tinsel was fixed.
In American English this is called a "tree-topper". Glass spire-like ornaments are popular. Plastic tree toppers are often electrified and, once connected with the tree's strings of colored lights, glow from within. Following WWII, various Christmas icons such as Santa Claus were introduced as electrified tree toppers. The angel and star however remained the preferred topper.
Packing in plastic makes things easy to find
Sue told of stories of long ago every time she opened a box
"Paul... Remember this? Huh? Huh?"
Carefully placing the decorations is a requirement
Talking to Jon Liles (our Grand Grandson!!)
Tree IS Complete, Now Under The Tree!
Laying the groundwork
Paul leaves the tree and heads for garland
Did you know? - A garland is a decorative wreath or cord, used at festive occasions, which can be hung round a person's neck, or on inanimate objects like Christmas trees. Originally garlands were made of flowers or leaves. In modern times, other materials have been used.
Serious activities are underway... The Zoo animals are first
Many boxes of animals!
The garland battles continue
Boxes of stuffed animals and goodies make their debut for 2009
The garland battle rages on!
Stretch one-two-three Stretch one-two-three
Flower hides from all the activities
Just hanging around
Paul drives everybody nuts by making all the noisy toys go at one time
Sarge and friend
The Clause's rest on the table
The garland battles continue
Careful placement required
The garland battle rages on!
Garland goes everywhere!
It's a lot of work
Garland battles open a new front!
Quit playing with the toys!
Advent is about to begin
Stocking get hung
Did you know? - While there are no written records of the origin of the Christmas stocking, there are popular legends that attempt to tell the history of this Christmas tradition. One such legend has several variations, but the following is a good example: Long ago, there lived a poor man and his three beautiful daughters. He had no money to get his daughters married, and he was worried what would happen to them after his death.
Saint Nicholas was passing through the village when he over heard the discussion of some villagers who were talking about the situation of the three girls. St. Nicholas wanted to help them, but he knew that the old man won't accept charity. He decided to help in secret. He waited until it was night and crept into their house through the chimney.
He had three bags of gold coins with him, one for each girl. As he was looking for a place to keep those three bags, he noticed stockings of the three girls that were hung over the mantelpiece for drying. He put one bag in each stocking and off he went. When the girls and their father woke up the next morning, they found the bags of gold coins and were of course, overjoyed. The girls were able to get married and live happily ever after.
This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes, eagerly awaiting gifts from Saint Nicholas. Sometimes the story is told with gold balls instead of bags of gold. That is why three gold balls, sometimes represented as oranges, are one of the symbols for St. Nicholas. And so St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.
The tradition began in many European countries. Originally, children simply used one of their everyday socks, but eventually special Christmas stockings were created for this purpose. Today, stores carry a tremendous variety of styles and sizes of Christmas stockings, and Christmas stockings are also a popular homemade craft.
Stocking for everybody
The little guys watch on
Meanwhile on the wall
Important tools of the day
Keeping Flower and Sarge out!
The doggies try to get inside
Plotting the attack
Last minute decoration
Time to kibitz
Under the tree underway
Looking for nemo!
The tree is loaded
Done... Life is good!
Did you know? - The Christmas tree is either a decorated artificial Christmas tree, a natural Christmas tree or a prelit Tree, a popular tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. Normally an evergreen coniferous tree that is brought into a home or used in the open, a Christmas tree is decorated with Christmas lights and colourful ornaments during the days around Christmas. An angel or star is often placed at the top of the tree, representing the host of angels or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity story.
This was Valentine's Christmas decoration
Things are starting to look good
Time To Celebrate
Where are you you silly wine
We decorated the neighbors trees also!
Paul declares victory
The stink eye
Yeah! Wine time!
We Called Vicky & Del For Dinner
Vicky tells stories about "The Raffle"
Dinner was great!
All of us! Vicky, Del, Carri, Sue and Paul
Del tells a story