Monday, December 16, 2013

Oh, Christmas Tree!

I recently woke up extra early to spend the day Christmas shopping with my eldest daughter, Heather. 

I was so glad that I woke up early so I could see the beautiful winter sunrise. 

The plan was to meet at my daughter's home so I could see her Christmas tree and decorations. 

Washington State produces $42 million annually in Christmas tree sales! 

It is the 5th largest producer of Christmas trees in the nation. 

32 out of 39 counties have a Christmas tree harvest 
and import primarily to  Hawaii, California, Mexico, and Asia. 
As I drove through the forests and farmlands on my way to her home, 

I passed several Christmas tree farms in the cold, misty December morning. 

Arriving at my destination, Christmas lights decorating their lovely home, I was ushered inside to warm coffee, homemade muffins (healthy - with fruit and nuts), and my daughter's beautiful smile. 

Can you ever spend enough time with loved ones? 

Her tree was decorated so beautifully. 

Here she is, ready for our busy day! 
It was Queen Charlotte, the German wife of King George 111, that introduced a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle in 1800. 
However, it was Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's German husband, who did the most to popularize the custom in the middle of that century. 
He gave decorated trees to English schools and army barracks, and in 1848 the Illustrated London News printed an engraving of Victoria and Albert and their children standing by a tree. 
Two years later in the United States, Godey's Lady's Book published a similar engraving. On both sides of the Atlantic fond parents were quick to copy the royal example. 

A 16th century religious reformer, Martin Luther inspired the lighting of candles on Christmas trees. It was said that on a Christmas Eve as he was walking home, the stars in the night sky inspired him to put candles on the tree as a reminder that the Christ Child is the light of the world. 

Over 300 years later, C.A. Schwerdgeburth painted a picture showing Luther and his family with a candlelit tree. The painting was widely reproduced, and the tree was widely imitated. 

To give even more splendor to a candlelit tree, shiny ornaments from tin were added which reflected and multiplied the candle's glow. Tin ornaments were produced in great quantities from about 1870-1900. 

At about the same time, even more fanciful shapes were created in the German city of Dresden, made of gold and silver embossed cardboard. These 3-dimensional ornaments were particularly detailed and treasured, even today. 

But nothing achieved the lasting popularity of those made from blown glass. Glass ornaments, silvered on the inside, were the specialty of the German village of Lauscha. Made by swirling a solution of silver nitrate around the inside of hand blown glass bubbles, they became very popular in Germany and soon in other countries as well. 
Eventually the village had to work year round to supply the demand for these beautiful ornaments. 

It wasn't until 1879 that the first electric lights were used on a Christmas tree, only 3 years after Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. Edward Johnson, vice president of the Edison Electric Company had a custom-made string of eighty little colored bulbs on the tree in his New York City mansion. Soon electric lights became popular, but only in the homes of the wealthy, as the comparative cost would be about $2000 today. 

By 1903, Ever-ready and General Electric collaborated to produce ready-made strings of 28 lights, but they still cost $12, more than an average man's weekly salary and when one bulb burned out, the whole string went dark. 

It wasn't until 1927 that General Electric developed lights without this problem. But the bulbs were large and still a fire hazard. 

Not until the 1960's did the lighting industry come up with tiny lights that stayed lit even when one bulb burned out. 

And now, today, we are blessed to have a magical, glowing, starlit Christmas. 
Here we are at Bellevue Square, our favorite shopping destination, in Bellevue, Washington. 

Where entire shops are devoted to decorating the Christmas tree! 

I did succumb to two lovely additions, which I will show you in a future post. 

We had a lovely time together, eating a delicous lunch at the Nordstrom Grille and shopping till we dropped. 

Satisfied that we completed our shopping, we reluctantly leave the festive atmosphere, 

taking one last glimpse behind us as we walk the sky bridge to our waiting car, loaded down with packages for those special loved ones in our lives. 

We say goodbye to the glittering city as we make our way home to our quiet countryside. 

Can you see the Christmas trees in the city windows? 

No matter where we live the world over, we share this special time of year in celebration

for many reasons and in many ways. 

Embracing love and compassion for our fellow mankind,

and bringing the stars of the night sky down to earth

as a reminder of the reason for the season. 


A little child,
a shining star,
a stable rude, 
the door ajar.
Yet in that place
so crude, forlorn,
The Hope of all the 
world was born.



  1. What gorgeous photos, and what a wonderful smile your beautiful daughter has. So glad that you are able to live close enough that you can spend time like this with her. That time is such a gift for both of you! Enjoyed hearing about the christmas tree origin. My mom, when she was little said that "santa" put up their tree in the living room during the night of christmas. When they got up in the morning, each of them got one small gift, and the tree was lit with real candles lit on the ends of the branches. What a change from today. Can still imagine the magic that she felt, and I have a doll still that she got when she was a child. How times have changed! hOpe that your christmas will be wonderful

  2. Oh Karen this is just such a beautiful post I love your daughters tree and shopping together must have been the best. Thank you for all the history I will never look at another tree or ornament the same way, I love that too.
    Oh the tree with the mountain in the background is amazing. Merry Christmas my friend and thank you for always bringing a huge smile to my face. Hug B

  3. Sounds like such a great time with your daughter. (I am a little envious. Three sons and not one wants to go shopping with me:) Her tree is very pretty and so is she!
    Everything looks so nice at Christmas, even the malls, which I don't really like. But I don't mind going during this time of year.
    Have a great week!

  4. What an interesting post! Your tree is beautiful, and the view behind it is stunning!
    We were in Bellevue on the weekend too - my favourite shopping destination, though it requires a couple of nights in a hotel (no hardship there!)

  5. Thanks for the history of the Christmas tree and the lights. Your daughter's tree is lovely and so is she! It must have been such a fun day shopping with her.

  6. That was a very good read about the history of Christmas trees. Your daughter's tree is very beautiful! I am so glad you had a great time shopping with her. I really enjoy how festive this time of year is ~ and I love winter sunrises because they happen right when I awake. Merry Christmas, Karen!

  7. Oh the sunrise with the christmas tree is fabulous - ever shot of it. Heather's tree and apartment are very charming - interesting ornaments too. I'm glad you had so much fun shopping and spending the day together. Such a wonderful time of the year to spend time with family.

  8. Such a beautiful post, Karen. You words made me teary. I lost my mom and just thinking about you and daughter out shopping together reminded me of something my mom and I used to do. Thank you for sharing such a lovely post. Glad you had a wonderful time in the city.

  9. Enjoyed reading your post. Tree decorations looks wonderful. Your daughter also looks cute. Nice to hear that you together go for Christmas shopping.Thanks for sharing about the Christmas tree!!

  10. Thanks a lot for sharing all those beautiful images! May I share your tree in Marina in blue in facebook I always include a link to the blogs I share. If you don't want, it's ok The title is "Christmas Corners of the world"

    1. Of course you may, Marina! Thank you for your sweet visit. Hugs xo Karen

  11. what a lovely post. Your sunrise is stunning. How wonderful to have such a view. And, it was nice to see your daughter full grown after seeing your little family building your home

  12. Hi Karen,
    I love your view from your LR window! You must never grown tired of that. Thank you for all the history of the Christmas tree, cards and ornaments. You daughter is so pretty and her tree is so lovely, as is yours. Merry Christmas to you and yours. xo

  13. Oh wow I absolutely LOVE your Christmas tree. Amazing. And your daughter is so lovely! Also, that mall is seriously decked out with Christmas-ness :)

  14. What a beautiful view out of your living room window...simply gorgeous! Sounds like you had such a wonderful shopping day. Thanks for sharing.

  15. How nice to spend the morning shopping with your daughter! Her tree is beautiful and so is yours! Especially with the mountain views in the background. And that mall looks huge! So festive!

  16. Gorgeous festive Christmas tree Karen and what a view behind it...your daughter's tree is also amazing... Looked like a fun day together..I'd love to visit that mall....... Hugs May x x x

  17. Hola maten muy lindo post y hermoso su árbol navideño. Que pase unas lindas fiestas junto a los suyos

  18. Karen, wonderful journey that you provided us. I did not know the history of the christmas tree, very good to know! Your daughter is parecidissima with you, have your way.
    I really enjoyed meeting the home of her daughter, loved it too lovely embellishment Tower Effeil, angels ...! and see shopiing in Washington. Thanks for this trip .... big kiss my friend!

  19. Hi Karen,
    It sounds like you had a perfect Mother & Daughter day!!
    Your Christmas Tree at sunrise, so grand!! an amazing shot!
    I mentioned you on my blog tonight (are your ears burning? ha!)

  20. Dearest Karen,
    Lovely post and your very early morning photo of your Christmas tree against the winter sunrise is spectacular. What a special day together with your beautiful daughter Heather. Fond memories forever and it warms the heart in more than one way. Did you know that those Dresden ornaments are still available here in the USA? I do have their Halloween fiberglass ornaments and also 8 Dresden Snowflake Rosettes. You can find their special items here:
    Hugs to you,

    1. Thank you, sweet Mariette - for your visit and for sharing your link. I know my reader's will love this and so do I. xo Hugs

  21. What a perfect reminder indeed! And how beautiful does your tree look in the morning light! So gorgeous Karen! There is nothing better than spending time with loved ones and it looks as though it was the most perfect day!!!! I love your daughters tree as well! All the best to you this week friend! Nicole xoxo


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...