I like a little sparkle to celebrate the return of light at the winter solstice, and the traditional Christmas holiday. A tree seems a good way to bring some of that into the house. Many years ago I discovered the Goose Feather Tree, which probably originated in Germany in the 19th century and maybe even earlier. I found pictures of these trees in Early American Life Magazine in historic settings, as antiques. Supposedly made of real feathers, I wondered how the tree was put together. I liked the idea that once a tree was constructed, it could be used over and over again. I finally discovered that these were imported from Germany and eventually sold through department stores like Sears in the early 20th century. And then one day I saw a demonstration on television and I launched into my own construction. Here is a small tree, maybe 15 inches high. The needles on the branches are created using goose feathers that were split down the center before I acquired them. They were dyed in yellow and blue plant dyes to get a nice nature-like green. Then each piece is carefully wrapped around the wire “stems.”
The tree that I set up last night was this white one, the natural color of the goose feathers.
When it’s time to put things away, the branches are folded upward and the whole thing fits down into a cloth bag made for it. The holiday celebrations were brief here in my home so there was no need to bring in a live tree. This little feather tree served quite well.
Blessings to all of you this holiday season!