Monday, December 23, 2013

Back in Time - Adding Tinsel

Mom adds tinsel to the Christmas tree - one strand at a time.
approx. 1969
I was thrilled to find some photos of my mother decorating the Christmas tree. She loved Christmas and took great pride the placement of the tinsel. I have no idea how many hours it took her to carefully place the icicles on the tree. The tinsel icicles were crinkled and not the straight, slippery ones sold today. Note that some of the glass ornaments can be seen on the upper branches.

Mom added the tinsel from the bottom of the tree to top.
In this photo she is nearing the top of the tree. 
I have no idea why the tree in the center of the room in this photo other than it was probably easier to work on the whole tree. The decorated tree was always positioned by the windows to my mother's right where the beige rocking chair can be seen.

The decorated tree must have been carefully maneuvered to its
spot in front of the window. Note the aluminum foil on the TV rabbit ears
 in the lower left corner. The Santa on the middle shelf was given to my
 mom. It was made from a hurricane lamp glass chimney, and the base
was a tuna can, covered with red felt. Most crafts, made in the late 60s
and early 70s were made with felt. 
While I love today's Christmas decorations and trees, I would love to see another tree decorated with individual, tinsel icicles. I didn't put up a tree this year, but when I do, I use individual glass icicles.

Do you add icicles or tinsel to your tree?


  1. My Mom did the very same thing but for, don't have that much patience.

  2. My of my, Nancy, your post took me back!!! My mom did exactly the same thing. She even saved the tinsel from year to year! I don't do tinsel or icicles, just ornaments and lights. Such wonderful memories! Thanks for sharing!!

    Have a very Merry Christmas!


  3. We don't because we have an artificial tree. But, I FONDLY remember those days. It made the tree EXTRA SPARKLY!

  4. I just love that picture! I have a picture of my grandmothers house at Christmas time and it all looks very similar. We skip the tinsel mainly because of the pets. I have heard some horror stories of cats and tinsel...

  5. What memories... my mom added tinsel like that... I never had the patience to do that so carefully!!!!...Soon after we were married that type of tinsel was no longer available.... We don't have any tinsel ornaments..... a few years back we went to a fake tree...which hubby said he would NEVER have....but never say NEVER:)

  6. My mother added tinsel like that too - one strand at a time! And she got frustrated when I added any clumps of tinsel.

    I love icicle ornaments and actually have quite a collection of glass ones that I add to our tree. This year I left off some of the really fragile ones though because of the babies we'll have at the house. But I love the way icicles look.

  7. We used tinsel icicles when we were kids, but since we helped decorate the tree, I doubt it ever looked as good as your mom's tree. Now we usually hang candy canes instead of icicles.

  8. My mom did that too...she straightened out the kid's clumps! And then took it all down and saved for next year...thank you for eliciting this memory!!

  9. We never had tinsel on the tree when I was growing up, but my hubby liked it when we first got married. It was the only 'ornament' that he would put on the tree. And since he hasn't helped with the decorating for the last 20 years, I went with glass icicles instead! lol

    I love the pics of your mom decorating.....I wish we had more pictures like that of the 'doing' instead of us all standing in front of the finished tree, with goofy faces and tired eyes!

    Hoping you have a very Merry Christmas!

  10. We did when we were kids..not now though. My husband prefers no tinsel, just lights and ornaments. (lots of lights)--have a Merry Christmas, thanks for making me smile. Blessings

  11. Your tree looks very much like the trees I remember. My Mother was incharge of the tinsel too and she would carefully put it on on strand at a time. When it came off we had to collect it one strand at a time too and use it the next year. I have not used it for years, we always did when we had a real it would be a pain to take of an artificial tree. Someday maybe just for fun that would be a fun thing to do..can you still buy tinsel..I will have to look:)

  12. I actually still use the tinsel. It is getting harder and harder to find. I just bought the last 8 boxes at my local walgreens. Guess I will be set for the next 7 years.

  13. Ooo, I love tinsel on a silver tip tree! I love tinsel who are we kidding, and I don't care it gets everywhere (as my husband complains). I have long hair, that's everywhere already. One day, I will tinsel when no one is looking! This year the tree is rather decrepit even for us, but it brings me such joy every time we plug her in :)

  14. Oh my goodness, my mom did the same thing too!!! And she trained us to hang one strand at a time as well if we wanted to help for even a few minutes getting the tree decorated. I haven't done that since I started using artificial trees. But that photo brings back so many memories for me too. Great post! Nice picture of your mom!

  15. Love the glittery effect. Have a happy holiday.

  16. What a great image ; a holiday moment frozen in time.
    No tinsel since the kitties and dogs have lived here…..
    just lights and ornaments. I find tinsel enchanting.
    Tanks' name at the shelter was Tinsel. He is silver and was born near Chrismtas. so that's all the Tinsel around here

  17. Now that's what I call a real Christmas tree!! Cant be doing with modern trees - purple and lime green. No I don't think so!


  18. Fun memories, Nancy! I can remember tossing on the tinsel when Mom wasn't looking. Where did those years go? Have a very Merry Christmas!

  19. What wonderful photos, Nancy. I don't do tinsel, garland or icicles, but I love white lights and my vintage ornaments. Some were my paternal grandmother's.

    I didn't put a tree up this year either. There just weren't enough hours in the days, and no one was/is coming here.

  20. What wonderful memories! My parents had the same tinsel...only in gold. Everything was gold on our tree during my childhood. They brought the tinsel over from Germany when they came to America and I remember how it was always carefully wrapped in long packages of tin foil each year. It had such a nice weight to it and like your Mom, we always had to put it on one strand at a time. I hope had a magical Christmas that included many wonderful new memories mixed in with the old ones.


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