Thursday, January 01, 2015

Gifts From My Best Friend

My birthday is on New Year's Eve and when I was a little girl, I had a 4' silver Christmas tree with a rotating color wheel that I would set up in the north western corner of the family room in the basement of our house. I would invite my friends over for a slumber party. We would eat fun food, play pranks on each other, admire the changing colors on the tree and watch, "The Trouble with Angels" starring Haley Mills. I am pretty sure it was the same routine for at least 6 years in a row.

I got older and my celebration changed. Somewhere along the line, my mother lost track of that tree. As an adult I have longed to have another one of those trees, but found that they were both expensive and hard to come by. It was not as easy as just keeping a look out for one at the thrift store. I looked for many years, but sort of gave up on the quest. I've written about it a few different times on my blog. My best friend, Natalie, noticed and when on a quest of her own to find one for me. I had no idea that she was on the trail. I am pretty sure she is always successful. She is like a bloodhound when it comes to things like that.

A few days after Christmas and Don's death, she invited me to lunch at Pietra's, a family owned Italian restaurant. I arrived to find a really lovely package on my seat. (Ellie and Natalie both love to create beautifully packaged gifts. They both share that talent and I am thrilled when I am the recipient of such gifts, though I sometimes hesitate to open them since they are so lovely.) We had a wonderful visit and then she bade me to open the gifts. I carefully removed the blue ribbon and opened the top box. It contained a collection of glass balls from the 1940's-1960's. I went through, admiring and talking about each on in turn. Then I opened the bigger box. I was stunned when I saw that the box was from an silver tree. I wondered where she had happened upon such a wonderful box. I did not dare to hope that the box held a tree as my mother and aunt love to reuse boxes and what the box is for is rarely what is within it. However, after admiring the box, I opened it to find a perfectly stored, authentic silver tree housed within, every single fake branch in its own paper sleeve, the original instructions tucked in the box along with the original paper wrapping. I could not believe my teary eyes. I had not actually expected to have one of those trees again. I thought it would just remain as a nice idea each winter. I was speechless, truly, for a while. Even now, I am not sure that I thanked Natalie enough. I know that it was a trek locate and I suspect that it was an expensive gift. I feel loved, noticed, listened to and important. I wish that I had some equally important, meaningful gift that I could give to her. What a lucky girl am I!

I set it up right away, of course. And then I decorated it. I put clear lights with white cords on the post. I could not figure out a good way to get lights onto the branches without it looking tacky. I also picked up some fun aqua colored bead garland.
I want to keep it up past the New Year, so I adorned the tree with the delicate wooden snowflakes that I love and had not found a place for. The wooden animals from Crate and Barrel helped give personality to the base of the tree.

Last night I enjoyed relaxing by the glow of the tree as I sat reading.

I am inspired by a few display ideas I found on Pinterest.

I think that I love this one the most.

500 Years of Female Portraits

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