The Holiday Tradition of Tinsel on the Tree

I have asked some friends and family to tell me about their Holiday Traditions or their favorite memories of the Holidays. This first post is from my mother, Roberta, and her Holiday Tradition of Tinsel on the Tree.

grandpa kuhlman

We had 4 children in our family and always spent Christmas Eve with my maternal grandparents and all our cousins. My grandparents lived in Oak Park, IL. in a big house or so I thought at the time. They had a side driveway and portico. When you entered on Christmas Eve the dining room glass doors were shut with a drape on them. In the living room in front of the fireplace, was a very tall unadorned Christmas tree and a ladder.

My grandfather would call each of his grandchildren to help him decorate the tree. Depending on your age, dexterity and patience, you either placed an ornament on the tree or an icicle one by one. No throwing or bunching of the icicles. This whole project could take quite some time and get very boring but I loved the tinsel. That was my job and I thought I did it the best. When we were finished, the dining room doors were opened for food and drink. My parents, aunts and uncles were starving by this time but my grandfather didn’t care. The tree was important. It reminded him of Germany.

To this day more than 50 years later, we put tinsel or some type of “one by one” shimmer on the tree.

I do remember that we always had tinsel on our tree growing up. Gold, it had to be gold. I tried to continue the tradition in my house but sadly we have cats. You know, they eat the tinsel and you find it later in a very unsavory state.

So, friends, please send me your favorite Holiday traditions and photos. I would love to start a collection of memories.

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Tags: Family Celebrations · Fun with Grandma & Grandpa · Holiday Fun · Holiday Traditions

2 Comments - Leave a comment

  1. Oh my gosh, Roberta & Sue, I forgot about the tinsel! My grandmother was Polish but also insisted on the tree tradition…one peice at a time. Thank you for the wonderful memory!

    Jean Des Biens

  2. You’re welcome, Jean! Thanks for commenting. I’m sure your tinsel was equally as twinkly.

    Sue Kirchner

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