Little Metal Christmas Trees

It was small, about 2 ½ feet high, with green branches and a different color fiber optic light at each thistle’s end. It sat in a window of our house that faced the street on a small table I found in Mexico. The tiny twinkly lights were constantly changing, and it became a brilliant display every evening as darkness arrived. Humble as it was, it represented Christmas for us.

It was small, about 2 ½ feet high, with green branches and a different color fiber optic light at each thistle's end. It sat in a window of our house that faced the street on a small table I found in Mexico. The tiny twinkly lights were constantly changing, and it became a brilliant display every evening as darkness arrived....

Of course, our children were not that impressed with our little artificial tree. They grew up with the smell of pine saturating the house each year and couldn't imagine we enjoyed decorating the house with anything but the traditional pine they remembered.

Decorating Christmas trees began as far back as the 16th century, but it began in my heart when we were children living on a farm in a small Georgia town where cedar and pine trees are plentiful.

We had many different trees representing Christmas in our house. Since a forest surrounded our house, it was a common tradition for my dad and brothers to take the saw and trudge through the woods for hours until they found the perfect tree.

Cutting down our own Christmas tree was a fun family tradition that gave us adventure, fresh air, and a respect for nature.

We had tall, bushy cedar trees that filled the entire living room, tall skinny pine trees that could hardly hold the ornaments, short trees that had to be positioned to hide their flaws, and even holly trees that dropped their red berries on the floor and attacked us with their thorny leaves every time we tried to place an ornament on the branch.

Whatever our dad could find in the woods, whether it was the perfect tree or one that we had to tie extra branches on, would be placed proudly near the window trimmed with multi-colored lights and silver tinsel to bid Merry Christmas to all who passed by.

I don’t think he would have been disappointed with my little fiber optic tree. In fact, he may have been an inspiration to others to create such beautiful trees.

When I was little, he spent hours in his shop behind the house, building little trees out of wire, cement, and pine cones.

He took a plastic flower pot or jug, filled it with cement, and placed several pieces of heavy wire that had been weaved together to resemble the trunk of a small tree in it.

After a while, when the cement dried, he broke the pot and peeled it away from the cement bottom. Then he painted the bottom forest green.

He attached to other pieces of wire to the trunk to make branches. Each branch would have several smaller pieces of wire wrapped around the branch, with its end pointed outward, as though it was a stem. There he would place a small hand-painted pine cone.

It was small, about 2 ½ feet high, with green branches and a different color fiber optic light at each thistle's end. It sat in a window of our house that faced the street on a small table I found in Mexico. The tiny twinkly lights were constantly changing, and it became a brilliant display every evening as darkness arrived....Sometimes we spent all day in the woods looking for those small perfect shaped pine burrs for him to paint. I remember the little paintbrush in his rough hands and baby food jars filled with different colored paints setting all along his long homemade workbench.

Each burr was unique. Some were painted one brilliant color, while others were made to look like beautiful flowers with deep rich shades of color starting at the base of the petal and softening as it relaxed along the edge of the rough wood burr.

When he was finished, it looked like a cross between a tree and a flower.

Sometimes he put them on a table in front of the house or at the edge of a busy road, and people would stop and buy them. I didn't know how valuable they were at that time?maybe not in money, but memories.

Childhood memories can haunt us around the Christmas holidays. Some are good, and some may be bad.

When I think of the little metal trees I watched my dad make, I wished I had saved one—perhaps it would have reminded me of the good times I had with him. I might have even set it on the little table in front of the window of my house to wish all those who passed by a Merry and Blessed Christmas.


Author's Image
Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

I have had many roles in life
Pastor’s Wife , Mom/Nana , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer , Christian Speaker
I can't remember a time when I wasn't writing stories, either in my head or in my journal.

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Story Comments

  1. What a wonderful memory. Thank you for sharing it with us. Happy holidays!

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you so much, Libbie, for reading and commenting. Merry Christmas,Deana

  2. What a great story! How fun to go hang out in the woods looking for the perfect trees! Kim

    • Deana Landers -

      Kim, thank you so much for reading and sharing my stories.Merry Christmas,Deana

  3. I loved reading this one Deana. Such precious memories of your Dad making the little wire trees (they sound fascinating BTW) and all the guys going to looks for the tree for the year. Those are the kind of memories that fill the heart and keep our souls real.

    • Deana Landers -

      Michelle, thank you so much for your comments. Memories with our families and the outdoors are so precious.Merry Christmas,Deana

  4. Those little metal trees sound wonderful. There are always things I wish I had save too, but they still live on in our memories :).

    • Deana Landers -

      Yes, they do, Sara. And it is so important that we remember and share the good things in our lives.Thank you,Deana

  5. Great story it is a pity you don't have one of the trees or a picture I would love to see one. It is more important to have this great memory though. Xxx

    • Deana Landers -

      Anita, my daughter created a replica of the trees one year for Thanksgiving from my description. It was so precious.Love ya,Deana

  6. What a lovely story. Your tree sounds perfect. Love building traditions with our family. Have a wonderful holiday season.

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Brooke. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family.Deana

  7. Maria -

    What a sweet memory of your childhood Christmas. I can remember many things as you do that make me smile and tear up. Hugs Maria

    • Deana Landers -

      Thank you, Maria. I think our childhood memories are the foundation for our lives as we grow and create new traditions with our families. Deana

  8. Lots of fond memories during the holidays, even if some aren't great they can warm our hearts!

    • Deana Landers -

      You are right, Janet, and the farther away from them the kinder they become in our hearts.Thank you, friend.Deana

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