The Eleven Foot Tree

I've gotten several requests for pictures of "that eleven foot tall Christmas tree."

If you find this post boring, don't blame me.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease around here.  (Except when the squeaky wheel is a perv or a troll – they get their IP addresses blocked.) 

Before I show you a picture of the tree in it's entirety, I should explain why our tree is decorated the way it is.

Many, many years ago, a man who worked for Briefcase gave us a beautiful ornament as a gift.  It was made by Christopher Radko, a company I was unfamiliar with at the time.  The ornament was made from mouth blown glass.  It was both whimsical and old fashioned at the same time.  I treasured it.

The employee who gave it to us informed me his family purchased one of these special ornaments each year to add to their collection.  I was inspired to begin the same tradition at our house.

I won't lie – Radko ornaments are very pricey.  Briefcase has never gone with me to purchase them and I think he might fall over from sticker shock if he did. 

Some things are better left unknown between spouses, don't you agree?

The tradition in our house has been slightly different than the one Briefcase's employee had.  Each year I purchase one new Radko ornament for our family.  In addition, I give each of my kids a new Radko ornament as one of their Christmas gifts.  Often the ornament I give them reflects something about their life in the past year.  When they eventually have their own homes, they can take a box of these beautiful ornaments with them to begin their trees.

The year the World Trade Center fell I selected this ornament as a remembrance for our family:

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When one of my son's spent most of his free time golfing one year, he received this golfing Santa as his ornament:

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The blown glass is very fragile.  These ornaments aren't for Briefcase's toddler hands.  

A lot of our ornaments reflect the beach lifestyle in one way or another like this sunbathing Santa.

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And also this snowman:

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Some of the ornaments are very whimsical like this moose.

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Or this dog with a spring for it's middle:

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 In addition to the many Radko ornaments, I tie ribbon on the tree and add some gold accents.

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I also liven it up with a few BIG decorations.  A big tree needs a few sizable things on it to break it up visually. 

OK, are you ready to see the whole tree put together now?  It looks better lit up at night, but (sorry) I took this photo during the day.  

Here you go … all eleven feet of it!

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© Twenty Four At Heart

105 Responses to “The Eleven Foot Tree”

  1. mama llama

    That looks so festive! Merry Christmas to you!
    Christmas ornaments mean so much when there is a story or memory somehow behind them. I like the theme you use when choosing for your family’s gifts.
    Be well, 24.

  2. mama llama

    That looks so festive! Merry Christmas to you!
    Christmas ornaments mean so much when there is a story or memory somehow behind them. I like the theme you use when choosing for your family’s gifts.
    Be well, 24.

  3. mama llama

    That looks so festive! Merry Christmas to you!
    Christmas ornaments mean so much when there is a story or memory somehow behind them. I like the theme you use when choosing for your family’s gifts.
    Be well, 24.

  4. Maureen@IslandRoar

    Oh, it’s so pretty! I love Christmas trees and how everyone’s are so different. The best trees are not designer perfect but have tradition and family stories, like yours.
    I get my kids an ornament each year so they’ll have a bunch for themselves one day. We also still have a bunch they made in school and some are quite nice. Eleven feet tall; it’s gorgeous!

  5. Maureen@IslandRoar

    Oh, it’s so pretty! I love Christmas trees and how everyone’s are so different. The best trees are not designer perfect but have tradition and family stories, like yours.
    I get my kids an ornament each year so they’ll have a bunch for themselves one day. We also still have a bunch they made in school and some are quite nice. Eleven feet tall; it’s gorgeous!

  6. Maureen@IslandRoar

    Oh, it’s so pretty! I love Christmas trees and how everyone’s are so different. The best trees are not designer perfect but have tradition and family stories, like yours.
    I get my kids an ornament each year so they’ll have a bunch for themselves one day. We also still have a bunch they made in school and some are quite nice. Eleven feet tall; it’s gorgeous!

  7. Joanne

    I love the moose! and sunbathing Sants made me smile- you know why?? because his eyes are WIDE open, sort of as if TFAH had stumbbled in to the pool area topless!

  8. Joanne

    I love the moose! and sunbathing Sants made me smile- you know why?? because his eyes are WIDE open, sort of as if TFAH had stumbbled in to the pool area topless!

  9. Joanne

    I love the moose! and sunbathing Sants made me smile- you know why?? because his eyes are WIDE open, sort of as if TFAH had stumbbled in to the pool area topless!

  10. Jan

    Girl, that’s beautiful! Now I’m inspired to do the same with our “unusual” tree. Thursday, maybe.
    I think I’m going to have Beloved read this post – he has seizures over the price of my Hallmark Keepsake Ornament addiction (I buy one for our tree and each of the kids every year, too).

  11. Jan

    Girl, that’s beautiful! Now I’m inspired to do the same with our “unusual” tree. Thursday, maybe.
    I think I’m going to have Beloved read this post – he has seizures over the price of my Hallmark Keepsake Ornament addiction (I buy one for our tree and each of the kids every year, too).

  12. Jan

    Girl, that’s beautiful! Now I’m inspired to do the same with our “unusual” tree. Thursday, maybe.
    I think I’m going to have Beloved read this post – he has seizures over the price of my Hallmark Keepsake Ornament addiction (I buy one for our tree and each of the kids every year, too).

  13. missy

    Merry Christmas 24. Your tree is so festive. I have two Radko ornaments and one of them is also the 9/11 Heart. I love it.

  14. missy

    Merry Christmas 24. Your tree is so festive. I have two Radko ornaments and one of them is also the 9/11 Heart. I love it.

  15. missy

    Merry Christmas 24. Your tree is so festive. I have two Radko ornaments and one of them is also the 9/11 Heart. I love it.

  16. Liz

    Love the tree & ornament story. But I think the moose is actually a reindeer, no?

  17. Liz

    Love the tree & ornament story. But I think the moose is actually a reindeer, no?

  18. Liz

    Love the tree & ornament story. But I think the moose is actually a reindeer, no?

  19. Lisa

    My folks have a huge tree too and they do big ribbons from top to bottom too to break it up. They also put stuffed snowmen and other big stuffed Christmas decor to break up the hugeness and the little (well, in comparison to the tree) ornaments.
    Great job! I love your tradition too. We have a similar tradition, but we don’t have a brand. Just a new ornament and new jammies every year. Now that the kids are older, we’re making our ornaments this year!

  20. Lisa

    My folks have a huge tree too and they do big ribbons from top to bottom too to break it up. They also put stuffed snowmen and other big stuffed Christmas decor to break up the hugeness and the little (well, in comparison to the tree) ornaments.
    Great job! I love your tradition too. We have a similar tradition, but we don’t have a brand. Just a new ornament and new jammies every year. Now that the kids are older, we’re making our ornaments this year!

  21. Lisa

    My folks have a huge tree too and they do big ribbons from top to bottom too to break it up. They also put stuffed snowmen and other big stuffed Christmas decor to break up the hugeness and the little (well, in comparison to the tree) ornaments.
    Great job! I love your tradition too. We have a similar tradition, but we don’t have a brand. Just a new ornament and new jammies every year. Now that the kids are older, we’re making our ornaments this year!

  22. mckay

    my mom’s best friend gave her a beautiful Radko santa as a christmas gift the year my mom was diagnosed with cancer. i still have that special ornament and i purchased another to compliment it. they are displayed in bell jars and are two of my favorite holiday decorations, as they remind me of my mom, her courage and her good friend.
    thanks for sharing your tree. it truly is a work of love!
    mck.

  23. mckay

    my mom’s best friend gave her a beautiful Radko santa as a christmas gift the year my mom was diagnosed with cancer. i still have that special ornament and i purchased another to compliment it. they are displayed in bell jars and are two of my favorite holiday decorations, as they remind me of my mom, her courage and her good friend.
    thanks for sharing your tree. it truly is a work of love!
    mck.

  24. mckay

    my mom’s best friend gave her a beautiful Radko santa as a christmas gift the year my mom was diagnosed with cancer. i still have that special ornament and i purchased another to compliment it. they are displayed in bell jars and are two of my favorite holiday decorations, as they remind me of my mom, her courage and her good friend.
    thanks for sharing your tree. it truly is a work of love!
    mck.

  25. Michelle Pixie

    Beautiful! I love the ribbon…I may have to borrow your idea for our tree next year. My aunt collects Radko for her tree too. She always puts two trees up and one is only for her Radko ornaments and they are breathtaking.

  26. Michelle Pixie

    Beautiful! I love the ribbon…I may have to borrow your idea for our tree next year. My aunt collects Radko for her tree too. She always puts two trees up and one is only for her Radko ornaments and they are breathtaking.

  27. Michelle Pixie

    Beautiful! I love the ribbon…I may have to borrow your idea for our tree next year. My aunt collects Radko for her tree too. She always puts two trees up and one is only for her Radko ornaments and they are breathtaking.

  28. michele

    As someone who does not celebrate christmas I love when I am invited over to help decorate!
    Stunning:)

  29. michele

    As someone who does not celebrate christmas I love when I am invited over to help decorate!
    Stunning:)

  30. michele

    As someone who does not celebrate christmas I love when I am invited over to help decorate!
    Stunning:)

  31. stacy

    That’s beautiful Suzanne. How do you put up all the ornaments at the top so perfectly and one-handed? sounds dangerous.

  32. stacy

    That’s beautiful Suzanne. How do you put up all the ornaments at the top so perfectly and one-handed? sounds dangerous.

  33. stacy

    That’s beautiful Suzanne. How do you put up all the ornaments at the top so perfectly and one-handed? sounds dangerous.

  34. Liz Tee

    Love the giant peppermints!! I did the ‘ornament of the year’ in my first marriage and ended up with 28 years of mostly hand-made ornaments we had to divide when we split. That kind of sucked but at least I got all my favorites. Now that I’m remarried, I guess I get to start over!

  35. Liz Tee

    Love the giant peppermints!! I did the ‘ornament of the year’ in my first marriage and ended up with 28 years of mostly hand-made ornaments we had to divide when we split. That kind of sucked but at least I got all my favorites. Now that I’m remarried, I guess I get to start over!

  36. Liz Tee

    Love the giant peppermints!! I did the ‘ornament of the year’ in my first marriage and ended up with 28 years of mostly hand-made ornaments we had to divide when we split. That kind of sucked but at least I got all my favorites. Now that I’m remarried, I guess I get to start over!

  37. di

    Love the weenie dog with the spring in the middle and the heart is awesome too. Radko ornaments rock!
    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

  38. di

    Love the weenie dog with the spring in the middle and the heart is awesome too. Radko ornaments rock!
    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

  39. di

    Love the weenie dog with the spring in the middle and the heart is awesome too. Radko ornaments rock!
    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

  40. Sandra

    Fabulous Tree. Love the candy decor. It makes the tree really pop.
    My mom buys my brother and I an ornament every year. How old were your kids when you started buying them these ornaments?

  41. Sandra

    Fabulous Tree. Love the candy decor. It makes the tree really pop.
    My mom buys my brother and I an ornament every year. How old were your kids when you started buying them these ornaments?

  42. Sandra

    Fabulous Tree. Love the candy decor. It makes the tree really pop.
    My mom buys my brother and I an ornament every year. How old were your kids when you started buying them these ornaments?

  43. Jess

    The tree looks magical.
    I’m all about tradition at Christmas time, so I’m pushing it on Husfriend.
    This year I told him that in addition to our Christmas Eve jammies, we needed to get one another an ornament. Something we’ll do every year from here on out.
    Next Christmas, I’ll be able to have my 11-foot tree to show them off on. Yippee!

  44. Jess

    The tree looks magical.
    I’m all about tradition at Christmas time, so I’m pushing it on Husfriend.
    This year I told him that in addition to our Christmas Eve jammies, we needed to get one another an ornament. Something we’ll do every year from here on out.
    Next Christmas, I’ll be able to have my 11-foot tree to show them off on. Yippee!

  45. Jess

    The tree looks magical.
    I’m all about tradition at Christmas time, so I’m pushing it on Husfriend.
    This year I told him that in addition to our Christmas Eve jammies, we needed to get one another an ornament. Something we’ll do every year from here on out.
    Next Christmas, I’ll be able to have my 11-foot tree to show them off on. Yippee!

  46. Dana

    What a beautiful tree. And I love that tradition of ornaments.

  47. Dana

    What a beautiful tree. And I love that tradition of ornaments.

  48. Dana

    What a beautiful tree. And I love that tradition of ornaments.

  49. Jane

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’m so jealous – ’cause while I love decorating the tree with my kids it takes everything in me NOT to reposition the ornaments that they’ve put on the tree. Of course, when I’m able to decorate the tree myself so it’ll be organzied and pretty and balanced I’ll be missing my kids help, though, won’t I?

  50. Jane

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’m so jealous – ’cause while I love decorating the tree with my kids it takes everything in me NOT to reposition the ornaments that they’ve put on the tree. Of course, when I’m able to decorate the tree myself so it’ll be organzied and pretty and balanced I’ll be missing my kids help, though, won’t I?

  51. Jane

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’m so jealous – ’cause while I love decorating the tree with my kids it takes everything in me NOT to reposition the ornaments that they’ve put on the tree. Of course, when I’m able to decorate the tree myself so it’ll be organzied and pretty and balanced I’ll be missing my kids help, though, won’t I?

  52. Kari-Mel

    Your tree is just gorgeous! I love Radko ornaments and the tradition that you are starting for your own children is so special! I just know it will touch their hearts when they each decorate their first tree with what you helped create for them so many years in a row!
    I wish I had high ceilings so I could do a larger tree. This year I changed things up on my tree completely and it has a theme. My lights are all red, white, and blue (because I’m smitten with my country) and the ornaments are too, adding in silver for some extra sparkle. And I found word ornaments in all the things that have helped me with my cancer this year – BELIEVE, HOPE, PEACE, FAITH, REJOICE, CHEER, LOVE – in silver and they are all over the tree. It’s my favorite tree I’ve ever decorated because it touches my heart so much.

  53. Kari-Mel

    Your tree is just gorgeous! I love Radko ornaments and the tradition that you are starting for your own children is so special! I just know it will touch their hearts when they each decorate their first tree with what you helped create for them so many years in a row!
    I wish I had high ceilings so I could do a larger tree. This year I changed things up on my tree completely and it has a theme. My lights are all red, white, and blue (because I’m smitten with my country) and the ornaments are too, adding in silver for some extra sparkle. And I found word ornaments in all the things that have helped me with my cancer this year – BELIEVE, HOPE, PEACE, FAITH, REJOICE, CHEER, LOVE – in silver and they are all over the tree. It’s my favorite tree I’ve ever decorated because it touches my heart so much.

  54. Kari-Mel

    Your tree is just gorgeous! I love Radko ornaments and the tradition that you are starting for your own children is so special! I just know it will touch their hearts when they each decorate their first tree with what you helped create for them so many years in a row!
    I wish I had high ceilings so I could do a larger tree. This year I changed things up on my tree completely and it has a theme. My lights are all red, white, and blue (because I’m smitten with my country) and the ornaments are too, adding in silver for some extra sparkle. And I found word ornaments in all the things that have helped me with my cancer this year – BELIEVE, HOPE, PEACE, FAITH, REJOICE, CHEER, LOVE – in silver and they are all over the tree. It’s my favorite tree I’ve ever decorated because it touches my heart so much.

  55. Midlife Slices

    We have a 14 ft. tree…..sitting in 3 boxes….in the attic. I refuse to put it up this year as we’re lucking out and getting to have all our Christmas’s at someone elses house. Merry Christmas to me!! LOL

  56. Midlife Slices

    We have a 14 ft. tree…..sitting in 3 boxes….in the attic. I refuse to put it up this year as we’re lucking out and getting to have all our Christmas’s at someone elses house. Merry Christmas to me!! LOL

  57. Midlife Slices

    We have a 14 ft. tree…..sitting in 3 boxes….in the attic. I refuse to put it up this year as we’re lucking out and getting to have all our Christmas’s at someone elses house. Merry Christmas to me!! LOL

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