For Christmas 1985, Jeff and I had a real Christmas tree that went to the very ceiling of our apartment; and I went shopping with my fiancée for traditional German Christmas ornaments to fill it up.
That year of 1985, I purchased natural handmade wooden and straw ornaments, red apple ornaments, red glass bulbs, miniature Santas, tinsel and red candles for our tree (the candles were never lit).
My Christmas decorations may have been a tad heavy on the color red that year; but for our apartment in the village of Bruch in 1985 it worked out very well for Jeff and I (the little red airplane behind the pinecone was a gift from the squadron).
My wife’s mother has always had a natural talent for decorating anything and everything that she touches; and Christmas 1985 was no exception as it was a very festive celebration at their house that I was invited to take part in.
Traditionally, Christmas trees in Germany are always natural, locally acquired and only put up on Christmas Eve…to the delight of both children and adults alike.
German Christmas trees are often very natural in appearance – with only white lights and lightly decorated with ornaments that are either handmade by the family or specially collected – with candles that are lit for a brief time on Christmas Eve (if safe and appropriate for the room).
My wife and I were married in January of 1986 and we moved into a new three story townhouse in a little village called Heckenmünster – situated all by itself in a beautiful long narrow valley – and here is a Polaroid picture of our Christmas tree in 1986.
Our rented townhouse in the village of Heckenmünster in 1986 was our first real home together for my wife and I; in what would become a very long list of home addresses for our little family in three different countries over the next 24 years.
This was our first German light pyramid, with red candles and accents – photographed with the 1986 Polaroid technology of the day.
At Christmas in 1986, I photographed my wife’s parent’s home in the snow in their village of Bruch; a house that the two of them designed together and built mostly by hand – in the German tradition.
My father-in-law did much of the construction work by himself; all the while working as a school teacher and principal, a band leader for two villages and as a private music instructor.