Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sharing a Sweet Christmas Memory from my Childhood--With Tutorial

It's almost Christmas and I'm still decorating!  I don't remember a year EVER where I waited until the last minute to make the house look like Christmas...and, you know what?  I probably would have just not decorated at all, except that I found this great little vintage cart last week while out junkin', and it inspired me.  

I decided to put it in the living room and just throw some tiny trees in it and call  it done.  I actually really like it, because the funk factor is really showin' out and it's a little bit tacky...it's so my style. It's fun, too.  I think the grand-kids, niece and nephew who will be here for Christmas will get a kick out of it. 

And, speaking of the kids....once I got going down this path, I thought back at some of my own childhood memories that really stuck with me.  

One memory was of a gumdrop tree that my little church had every Christmas.  Our church was a tiny one with around 30 members (on a good day) and church on Christmas was like celebrating with family--they were part of my God family, and still are.  "Mom" Sutton, our pastor's wife, always did special little things for the kids.  When I was really little, I thought for the longest time that she was my other grandmother, because I had heard her grandchildren call her "grandmother" and so it just went that way...It was so much fun to go home with her for a day or even a few hours between Sunday services because she always had baked goodies, big jars of buttons, and she would take her hair down out of the bun so that I could see how long it was.  Mom Sutton just celebrated her 100th birthday...Anyway, I believe she was the one who started the gumdrop tree that remains so magical in my mind. It was a simple twig tree with candy gumdrops just stuck on all over it.  She was from Germany, and that just seems so German to have Hansel and Gretel decorations, so I'm sure it must have been Mom Sutton's contribution to the Christmas decorations at Simmsville Bible Chapel.  After the Christmas service, when we would file through the door on our way home, "Pop" Sutton would hand each of us a brown paper bag filled with fruit and hard candy...Yes, I have sweet memories of my childhood growing up in that small love-filled church.  

I thought I would try to reproduce that little gumdrop tree this year to make some sweet memories for the kids in my family, and I decided it would be nice to share so that if you want a fun, easy, cheap project for the kiddos, this one is it.  Now let me show you how I did it.

Since my decor is a little tacky this year, I went with a pear can for my container.  I added a strip of burlap around it and tied it all together with a ribbon.  This is where you can get creative and make it "go" with your decor.  It could be pretty in a silver plated bowl, a wooden container, or stuck into something with a hole in it (wooden shoe form)...just use your imagination.  Since the can was lightweight, I added stones to hold the little tree in place.

I then poured in some sand for added stability to fill in the spaces between the stones.

This is the way it looked before I trimmed it.  I decided to give it more of a Christmas tree shape.

Then, I started adding the gumdrops.  I found these at Wal-mart for $2.48.  I had envisioned multi-colored ones, like the ones from my childhood, but these were the only ones I could find...

This little twig tree that I found in the edge of our yard is perfect, because it has a lot of little twig things on which to stick the sugarplums.  The little gooey candies just sort of "grab" right on if you smash them onto the little twigs just right.  Side note:  I may or may not have cut the top out of a plum tree that hubby planted...He just asked me where I cut the tree...pray for me...Christmas is the season for forgiveness.

And after fifteen or twenty minutes of adding the little sugary gems, it's finished!

Warning:  Don't let the kids eat the candies after they've been stuck onto the tree!  

Now it's found a place to hang out over by the tacky funky cart filled with Christmas goodies.  

And, it's the first thing the kiddos will see when they arrive on Christmas Day.  I hope it brings a bit of magic to them and causes them to tuck the memory back in their minds somewhere so that they can pull it out to share with their grand-kids one day.

Hubby just told me that it was his plum tree...I sure hope the kids enjoy it.  He did forgive me, but I probably need to find another plum tree for him to plant when spring rolls around next year...

If I don't see you again before the big day, I hope you have a good one, filled with blessings and sweet sugarplums.  And, remember to whisper a "Happy Birthday" to Jesus before the day is done, because, after all, He is the reason for the season. 

Thanks for spending some time with me!  And I would love for you to visit my other website www.downinthedelta.net and make plans to come on down to the delta for a visit!

Shared with:


  1. What a sweet - literally, little tree! My grandmother always made a gum drop tree, but she had a plastic form that she used, so we could eat the gumdrops!

    Merry Christmas to you!

    Leslie Anne

    1. How cool that you could actually eat the gumdrops on your grandmother's tree! I have extras just in case they get the urge to munch on mine.
      Merry Christmas to you, too, and thanks for dropping by!

  2. Simple and sweet, but poor hubby's plum tree! Was it a sugarplum? ;-)

    1. Now, that would be a really bad thing if I ruined a sugarplum tree. I'm thinking it was a regular old plum kind of tree-I hope.

  3. So cute! I love your little gumdrop tree. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks for popping over and Merry Christmas to you, too!

  4. What an adorable idea Judy! I just might have to go get some gumdrops and sticks! Your memories are sweet and special, and I love your Christmas cart! Merry Merry, have fun!

    1. Thank you Jenna! The gumdrop tree does look like something you would do...