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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Naperville Gardener – My Christmas trees 1973-2013


When Kent and I were newlyweds, we’d put up a real tree and decorate it as best as we could. I was teaching third grade that first year, so most of our ornaments were gifts from my students or extras from class art projects.

Krueger_HeadOver the years Kent and I have had many fall project making ornaments for our tree.

One year we collected little pinecones and corn husks. We bleached the husks, cut them into strips and wrapped them around pencils to curl. The end result was a rosebud of sorts with the pine cone at the center surrounded by curls of cornhusks. I had grown and dried strawflowers that also were added to this “natural” tree.

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Then we had our two boys and an assortment of “baby’s first Christmas” joined the collection.

Kent travelled almost weekly back then. One year I couldn’t wait for the live tree. I took matters into my own hands and bought an artificial tree. It’s been an artificial tree (or two or three) in the Krueger household ever since.

For the past couple of decades, I have become more restrained in decorating my trees. Each tree has a theme and not every theme makes it out of the basement every year.

For Matt’s senior year I decorated a tree with a basketball theme, to celebrate his years playing basketball. I cut a hole in the bottom of a basketball for a tree topper and lit the tree with strands of orange lights. One year for Christian I decorated a tree in his room with Simpson ornaments. It was fun to walk into his room and see Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie celebrating the holidays.

Then came the rose tree, the turtle tree, the cardinal tree, the Hershey tree, the candy cane tree and so on.

I’ve been dreaming about putting up a tree with sweet granddaughter Addy since she was born. She’s three. And this is the year!

Update! Dec. 12, 2013 / Just in from Arizona!

Addy posed with her very own Christmas tree.

Nichole (Addy’s mom) and I decided that a small pink tree would be perfect. So it’s 4 ½ feet tall and 2 feet wide and pink with pink lights that have pink wires.

Addy’s birthday is in January, so it’s likely she’ll be celebrating with her special pink tree then, too.

The theme is cupcakes and my suitcase was full of such ornaments—Santa with cupcakes, elves with cupcakes, fairies with cupcakes, snowmen with cupcakes, blue cupcakes and pink cupcakes.

There’s a Santa holding a candle that’s very cool. You blow on the candle to turn the lights on the tree on and off. Addy loves doing just that!

Addy’s tree even has a tree skirt with four large appliqued cupcakes.

Through the wonder of the omniscient Internet, I thought you might like to see how this all came out, so here are some photos.

My wish for all of you is that you have a new project to do this holiday season, too!

Enjoy every little thing that makes the season bright!


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Marilyn Krueger
Marilyn Kruegerhttp://www.napervillegardenclub.org
Marilyn Krueger is an avid local gardener and member of the Naperville Garden Club.


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