*Many of you will remember my husband’s tradition of saving the stump of our family’s Christmas tree every year, and carving it into the form of a creature. Each creature represents a sustaining memory of something significant to us in that year. When he has completed the carving, he cleverly inserts a penny with the year’s date into the bottom of each little sculpture, to document its year.*
The painting above is a still life of some of his creatures, that I painted as a gift for him.
This year’s carving honors the memory of Lillith, our beloved feline hellion . She recently passed on at nearly twenty- one years of age. We miss her very much.
Below is sampling of carvings from years past. So far he has created one piece for every Christmas we’ve been married-thirty one in all.
From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a creative New Year.
Many of you will remember my husband’s unique tradition of removing the sump of our family’s Christmas tree when the Holidays are over, and before it it dragged to the curb. He seasons each stump and transitions it into a creature significant to us in that year. Then, he cleverly inserts a penny with the year’s date into the base of each little sculpture to document its year.
Today we have a collection of thirty-two sculptures. Until the end of the year, each week I’ll be posting photos of the carvings that I haven’t previously posted, until we are caught up to the stump from last year’s tree.
Each carving is precious to us. I hope you will enjoy them.
This Christmas tree stump carving pays homage to the brave little salamander on loan from our eldest’s fifth grade classroom…
Brutus was a popular class pet and in great demand, so students signed up for the honor of bringing the little guy home on weekends to salamander sit. Brutus spent one VERY LONG weekend at our house. It seems that our cats were simply taken with him. My husband and I repeatedly moved Brutus’ aquarium tank from shelf to shelf in ascending order to dissuade the cats. Just when we thought it was safe to turn out the lights and turn in, commotion in the living room brought us back downstairs in time to witness a full-on attempted salamander assault. No matter where we placed the tank, the cats found a way to harass Brutus. In the end, Brutus was forced to spend the rest of his visit behind locked doors, while the kitties stalked just outside.
I imagine that the fifth grade classroom never looked so good to one shaken-up salamander come Monday morning. This adventure marked the very last class pet vacation at our house.
In 1990 my husband befriended a squirrel who greeted him every evening after work. This little squirrel is commemorated here in this Christmas Tree stump carving. His name is Napoleon.
This Christmas tree carving honors a little starfish that fascinated our eldest, summer of 1988.
This is Geba Geba. A memorial to a snail that lived in our fish tank in 1986. One day he just disappeared. I think Diver Dan must have masterminded the plan and Miss Minerva went right along with it. These two goldfish grew in size significantly, especially after we realized that Geba Geba was no longer residing in his little shell at the bottom of the tank.
This is Robin the seahorse from our 1985 Christmas tree.
This is Magellan, our Christmas tree stump carving from 1983.
Because so many responded to my husband’s beautiful practice of Christmas tree stump carving, I’ve decided to post an image of one of his mini sculptures each week for all of the twenty-eight carvings in our collection. Above is the first, from 1982. This is Abbot the rabbit. The muse? The Velveteen Rabbit.