I have always loved Mexican tin ornaments…so shiny and colorful! I began collecting them many years ago but never really had a way to display them. Our family Christmas tree has always been decorated only with Hallmark ornaments. And I’ve been collecting Hallmark ornaments since they first came out in 1973 – but that’s a story for another post…
I know it was a few years after we moved into our house in Hoover, AL, that I decided to have a Mexican tree in my family room. It started slowly…we had a small tree we used in our apartment while we were waiting for our house to be built. It was the perfect size for our family room. So I put together and began decorating. I used poinsettia stems and the tin ornaments the first year. And I added chili pepper lights in green and red too – for a little zing! I remember the first year only having a few strings of chili pepper lights. A friend of mine who loves day after Christmas shopping, found a few more sets one year and called me to see if I wanted any. I said “YES!” and said picked them up for me. I used those lights until just two years ago when so many had gone out I decided to just use multi-colored lights because I couldn’t find chili pepper lights anywhere in town.
Every year, I try to add something new to the tree. Every time I’ve traveled to New Mexico, Colorado and California, I’ve brought back an ornament. One year I found a few small sombreros and decided to use them as a tree topper. Worked out better than I thought it would! Locally, I’ve found ornaments at World Market and Target. This year, I went by Myers Plants and Pottery in Pelham, AL, and found two sugar skull ornaments to add to the tree – one in white and the other purple. Finding these at Myers was a total shock! Then again, this is the place where I’ve found amazing Talavera pottery pieces too so…
This year, my daughter Emily helped me with the Mexican tree. We worked together so seamlessly and had it done in no time. After I added the multi-colored lights, she quickly began filling in the spaces with poinsettia flowers. We worked on the ornaments together and each one filled the perfect spot. I remember when my kids were little and would clump ornaments into one spot. After we were done, I would “re-distribute” the ornaments around the tree to even things out. That wasn’t the case today. Emily knew exactly what looked good and where to place things. As a final touch, we picked up the tree skirt and together worked it around the base of the tree. Then we placed the pewter manger under the tree. On either side of the manger, we placed a Mexican mariachi nutcracker and a Mexican Santa doll. Next year, we’ll add red pepper lights back to the tree. My sweet husband found a few boxes while he was out running errands earlier in the day and brought them home for me!
I’m looking at the Mexican tree now as I write this…so peaceful…so beautiful…so colorful…and so Mexican!
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