Monday, 17 December 2012

Tillie Tells A Tale Of Tinsel

Thanks to Tillie for memories of her family's first Christmas tree in their tenement home in Broomloan Road, Govan.
Today’s shops are laden with decorations of holly and tinsel, baubles and beads. From every window gleams the Christmas tree, festooned with lights and trinkets. Children gaze adoringly at the Fairy on the top, fingering the little ornaments and chocolate treats which hang and sparkle from the branches.

When I was a child no one we knew had a Christmas Tree until one year they appeared in the greengrocer's shop, little fir trees, about three or four feet high. My mother bought one and put it into a large bucket filled with earth which she placed in a corner of our kitchen.

I had a collection of silver paper which I used to exchange with friends. It was stored between the pages of a book and one evening we used this to make shiny baubles for our tree. We gathered round the kitchen table and tore up old newspapers which we rolled into small balls. Then we placed each one on a square of silver paper and wrapped it around, carefully tying in a loop of thread to enable us to hang the homemade ornaments onto the tree.

We bought cotton wool from the chemist shop, laid it along the branches and sprinkled with glitter. My daddy painted a clear electric light bulb with red paint and hid it down behind the tree. When it was lit, we felt as though we were in a winter wonderland. What an exciting Christmas glow we felt in our little kitchen.

Glitter and gifts are fleeting but Christmas time is made special by our associations with others and the memories of time spent together.

1 comment:

Sandra PA said...

Tillie, I bet no other Christmas tree has given as much pleasure as that first one. I only remember us having a tree once while we lived in Govan. My Mum tried to hide it between her bed and the double wardrobe as she planned to surprise us on Christmas morning. And it would have worked except I sat down by the dressing table, which had a main mirror and two angled side mirrors, and saw the reflection of a tree. I was puzzled at first because when I turned round I couldn't spot the tree. But, eventually, I was able to work out where it was and ran to tell my sisters. We didn't have much in the way of decorations, just some tinsel and a few baubles ~ no lights ~ but I remember how excited we all were to have an actual tree that Christmas:-)