Fun Christmas Memories Don’t Always have to be About Polymer Clay

Christmas Spider Tradition “I always have a little spider placed on my Christmas tree… been doing it since I was a child.” ~SusanAnn-A

Putting up the Christmas tree, always brings back memories of Christmas’ past.

The tree that our family put up this year has already planted some interesting memories that won’t fade too quickly… a cracked tree stand… water leaking all over the carpet… the desperate rush to get the steam cleaner out to suck up the water… and the quick fix Tupperware tree stand liner to make everything right again… but that is another story for another time.

After dealing with that little Christmas mishap, decorating the tree did begin to trigger some fond memories of years gone by. One of my childhood stories I thought you might enjoy hearing, happened back when I was a teenager.

At the time I was working at a Dentist office for a few hours each afternoon after my high school classes finished up for the day. Every year the staff put up this horrible looking Christmas tree. You know, the kind with the bad faded plastic ornaments and the long ropes of worn out tinsel.

I hated the tree so badly and thought it was the lamest thing going! So one night after everyone had left, I stayed behind, determined to give that decrepit old tree a full makeover.

I ran around collecting anything and everything in the office that would be fun to hang on the tree. Using dental floss, I tied toothbrushes, exam mirrors, boxes of floss, surgical masks, toy rings and a variety of dental instruments onto the limbs and the branches.

I remember being so delighted with myself that I jumped around after decorating the tree. What a surprise it would be for everyone in the office when they saw it in the morning. There were 6 dentists and a ton of staff so I was sure no one could possibly know who was responsible.

However, the next day when I came in after school, everyone kept patting me on the back saying, “nice tree!“, “Much better than last year!” “Lot’s of fun!” etc. But how the heck did they know it was me?!?

Turned out, one of the secretaries lived across the street and could see me running around the office and dancing around the tree. She thought it was cute and couldn’t help but let my secret out of the bag.

In my honor, they ended up decorating the tree in a similar fashion for the next couple of years… albeit with a much more restrained approach than what I would have done :-)

I have forever been pleased by that dental Christmas tree memory. Knowing that everyone, even a stuffy old dentist office, could use a little creativity and fun in their lives!

It would be wonderful to hear about some of your Holiday memories and traditions in the comment section below. They don’t have to be polymer clay related.

A while back I wrote about how Christmas tree spiders are a bit of a tradition for some folks. Legend has it that a poor family awoke one Christmas morning, delighted to see their tree covered in extravagant volumes of tinsel. Turns out it was a gifted spider who blanketed the tree with her glistening web.

This is darling! My brother absolutely loves spiders, I see a project coming on! *grin* …and I always have a little spider placed on my Christmas tree, no matter how small or large the tree is, been doing it since I was a child, I have even carried around the same little homemade spider for many years now, though the poor little dear has become quite fragile. Maybe this year I will retire him with one of these little beauties *smile* ~SusanAnn-A

And if you need even more Christmas cheer to help you get in the mood to share your Christmas stories, read the quirky little Polymer Clay Christmas Poem that I posted last December in 2008.

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  1. Melinda, 13 December, 2009

    Ok so fabulous!!!! Love the spider….
    3 years ago my kids and I made all the decorations for the tree out of salt and flour dough and paint…. it was fabulous and I love them dearly. It was a time in our lives that the money was very tight but the joy was abundant. It will always be a wonderful memory.

  2. Shannon, 13 December, 2009

    You are a woman of action! making over that tree like that! What a great story.

    Love the spider idea, and I bet the kids would too!

  3. Carrie, 13 December, 2009

    My favorite memory is that on our tree when I was little my grandmother made my brother and I each a little mailbox ornament complete with functional flag. All month long we would write each other little notes and put them in the others mail box and raise the little flag. It was always simple things like, “Do you want to watch a movie later”, or “Do you want to share a snack”. But since my “little” brother turned 21 this year, it is a memory I will cherish for many years.

    A little good news (trying not to brag, but very excited). I finally got my second sale in my Etsy shop today! Thank you Cindy, because the beads were smooth raku! And I made sets of jewelry for my sisters-in-law (ages 13 and 15) for Christmas. Using only 3 colors of clay and 2 colors of seed beads, I made 8 unique pieces of jewelry! I’ll try to get pics soon!

    Happy Holidays Everyone!

  4. Peggy, 13 December, 2009

    OK I am going to try to keep this somewhat short. The first 5 yrs my husband and I were married we lived in a 2 bedroom 12′ X 60′ trailer. So small trees it was. We built a beautiful home out in the country and I was so excited our first Christmas because we had 12′ cathedral high ceilings. So I wanted a big tree and you know they look much smaller outside. But I talked my husband into the one I wanted. When we got home it wouldn’t fit in the living room so we had to move our dining room table up against the wall and my tree scraped a 3′ mark on my brand new ceiling when we went to stand it up. Even with a homemade heavy metal tree stand it would not stay straight up. So we had to run wire cables from the tree to 2 corners. Of course we didn’t have enough ornaments. One of our daughters decided she had some stuffed animals that would be perfect for the tree so we finished filling it with ever kind of stuffed animal the girls had. I followed the tradition with Christmas decorated small stuffed animals for all of my ornaments buying them after Christmas when they go on clearance. To this day if you look close even though we tried to touch it up the best we could you can still see the mark on my dining room ceilingl. I love that mark as much as I love my stuffed animal ornaments. I also make and love polymer ornaments but you won’t find any on my tree.
    OK sorry I couldn’t keep it shorter.
    Uuuuuuuuugs for everyone, Peggy

  5. Cindy Lietz, 14 December, 2009

    Thank you girls!

    @Melinda: Wonderful story! It is the memories that really make for a good Christmas… not what we got for presents! Thanks for sharing your story!

    @Shannon: Thanks! Yeah, my son made a little spider in Pre-School one Christmas and the story was attached. It is such a sweet idea!

    @Carrie: I love your story! Makes me want to get up from the computer right now and go and make a mail box for each of my kids! (I am afraid I will have to save it for another time though since I am swamped right now and Christmas is only a few days away! Congratulations on another sale! Your raku bracelets are wonderful, no wonder it sold. Good luck on more sales this new year!

    @Peggy: Loved your story too! How fun to hear! I hope the only reason that you don’t have any polymer clay ornaments on your tree, is because of the stuffed animal tradition. Maybe you’ll have to set up a tiny tree, just to display some clay ornaments, since I bet you can make some real beauties!

  6. Debi S, 14 December, 2009

    I really enjoyed reading all of your sweet memories! I didn’t have christmas until I was 18 years old and had christmas with my boyfriend. (now husband of 28 years!) I go over board every christmas now! My parents were of a religion that does not celebrate holidays, so my christmas is always special.

    I wanted to give a gift, that I believe all of our polyclay addicts will love. I found this on etsy and checked the prices of these peices and it would be roughly $70.00 in US dollars. I ordered mine and about fell over. I thought it was a trick! I received it 2 days after I ordered it and believe me it was legit. I don’t know how, but no complaints.

    Anyway…enough chatting, this item number 110448639947

    Put this number into the search box on ebay. Up comes a 9 peice “set” of the sculpey studio peices in a kit. I paid $5.95 for the kit and $5.95 for the shipping. I don’t understand how they are doing this but I don’t think these will last long. It says 10 left everytime I look at it. But shows 89 sold!

    I hope that all of you that want one get one. At that price it will be a christmas present not to forget!

    Merry merry holidays!

  7. Cindy Lietz, 16 December, 2009

    Thanks Debi for thinking of us! Glad to hear you got such a great deal!

  8. Debi S, 16 December, 2009

    I re-read my earlier post and I realized that I didn’t explain myself very well at all…..sorry

    The 9 peice set that I bought was the following:

    5 – Studio by Sculpy Texture packs:
    Country Squares
    Chantilly Lace
    Nature Walk
    Ferns & Squares
    Swirls & Scrolls
    1 -Texture Wheel with 4 heads
    1- Antiquing Medium: Warm White 4 – oz
    1- Glossy Glaze
    1 – Stipple Tools

    I hope that clears up what a deal this really is?

  9. Cindy Lietz, 19 December, 2009

    Holy cow, that is a great deal! Hopefully others got a chance to see in time to be able to take advantage of this. Thanks again for passing that along to the group Deb!

  10. Debi S, 21 December, 2009

    I almost bought 2 lol…..1 just to put back for when I wear out the first set!!

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