Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Oh, Kitschmas Tree!
This weekend, I put up my Christmas tree. In our house growing up, despite being atheists and the tree actually being a totemic emblem of Europe's pagan past, oddly religious rules were adhered to in that the tree was never put up until Christmas eve, was to be decorated tastefully in red and gold, and was generally low-key.
The trees I remember most from my childhood however, were my paternal grandparents'. They always had a real fir tree which immediately started to turn brown and drop needles all over the carpet, and was covered in amazing 1950s decorations in bright jewel colours. Little glass birds with long tails, baubles like gleaming Fabergé eggs, crackers and nets of chocolate coins hidden inside the tree, and my favourite thing of all - bubble lights! These were apparently America's biggest selling Christmas lights from the 1930s - 1980s, but were and still are very rare in the UK. I was always amazed by the glowing tubes of colourful liquid, bubbling away dangerously among the branches like a mad scientist's test tubes.
So, seeing as my dad has lain claim to my grandparents' set, I purchased some from US eBay and bought a transformer so they wouldn't explode when exposed to UK voltages.
Atop my tree sit a small red flocked deer, and a bizarre long-legged elf from the 1940s. These were my nanna's on my mum's side.
The other decorations are a mixture of shiny blown glass B-movie style robots, this lovely crocodile which I bought at the German Christmas market a few years ago, multicoloured mini baubles and a generous sprinkling of glittery and metallic deer!