Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tanya Hanson and O Tannenbaum

It’s finally looking like Christmas around the homestead. We decided to begin a remodel of all three of our bathrooms the Monday after Thanksgiving. The havoc, dust and early mornings around here (to let the workmen in) were so nonstop we reckoned we’d wait until construction ended to put up our tree.

So...when award-winning western author Cheryl Saint John  invited me to showcase my Christmas tree on her month-long author’ tree showcase,  I “borrowed” my niece Katie’s tree.

My sis also sent a pic of her tree just in case. Hers has a bird theme, is always magazine-perfect, and I love every year finding her a new ornithological ornament.

Well, at Home Depot the other day, picking out paint samples for the various “necessaries,’ the scent of freshly cut pine trees so overwhelmed hubby and me that we caved....gussied up the homestead as well as we could,  and put up our tree even in the turmoil of construction! Ah, what a treat, cuddling up in front of it with a good book...

And that reminded me of a favorite tome my mama gave me. It dates from 1935 and includes not only the music and lyrics of favorite Christmas carols, but a historical tidbit about each one. I wore this thing out as a kid taking piano lessons. Now it’s one of my favorite possessions. 

So I looked up “O Christmas Tree”  

What we call the Christmas tree today has its origins in ancient Rome. During the pagan festival Saturnalia, which honored Saturn the god of seed-sowing, trees laden with decorations and gifts were customary. During the dark ages, the Goths brought the Saturnalia customs back to Germany.

Legend has trees becoming part of Christmas festivities during the time of Protestant reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546.) Out on a winter night, he supposedly was so moved by stars shining on a fir tree that he brought the tree home to his family and hung it with paper stars and candles in honor of the Star hanging over the Christchild’s manger. Hence, the “Tannenbaum.”

As for cuddling up with a good book by your tree or fireplace, might I recommend my latest release, Christmas for Ransom? True, Jack is an outlaw, but a good-hearted guy who loved his gram-maw. And going from a tumbleweed Christmas tree while he’s snowbound with Eliza (they’re hiding from his former gang) to a big knotty pine after he’s all redeemed, married and a daddy is a pretty good thing!

Merry Christmas, and may God bless y’all, every single one!



  1. Tanya, your books are always a treat, and so are your posts. Glad you have your lovely tree to enjoy. We put ours up Thanksgiving evening with the lights, but we have soooo many decorations that it took me a while to get them all on the tree. Now you can hardly see the tree for all the ornaments. I love it.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  2. Tanya--I lived vicariously through your photos of trees. We have no Christmas guests--we go there, instead. Fine with me. The Chrismon tree in our church sanctuary is a sight to below. It sits in a corner next to the lectionary for the liturgist and is very tall. The ornaments are tiny white lights and the Chrismon ornaments--which are silver and white. Gorgeous.
    In the Fellowship hall- a big regular tree. We don't usually have this, but the youth group this year just insisted they put up a tree in there next to the stage. And yes, they did a beautiful job on it.
    Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones!

  3. hi Caroline, so sorry to be soo late getting here. We just got back from taking the fam to Disneyland! Oh, we had such fun. It's so gorgeously decorated for Christmas. Our six year old grandson had a ball, and it was the first visit for our 13 month old grandson. You shoulda seen him when Mickey and Minnie came over to hug him!

    Anyway, I know what you mean about decorating a tree. Ours is jam packed, too but I'm still finding branches to add something. It's definitely not a one-day activity for me.

    Thanks so much for your kind words and lovely greeting. xo

  4. Oh Celia, I'm already picturing those glorious Chrismons. I used them in last year's Christmas tale, Right to Bragg. He explains the word is short for Christ's monograms.

    We will have both our little guys here for Christmas Day. I can't wait. They are the halves of my heart.

    Merry Christmas to all! xo

  5. Fun post Tanya. What a bunch of lovely trees! We have a big tree this year because grandkids will be here! yipee! Hope the remodel is going well. Merry Christmas!


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