Christmas is full of traditions and one woman has managed to keep a family legacy going for nearly a century.
Kathy Firth still decorates a Christmas tree that her parents bought 98 years ago – and it takes pride of place in her home.
The tree is made from goose feathers and Kathy dresses it with decorations that have been in the family for decades.
The 83-year-old, from Walton in Warrington, told the ECHO: “My parents bought it, I think, from Warrington Market in time for my eldest brother Frank’s first Christmas.”
Kathy, who also grew up with sister Delpha and brother Ralph, remembers it fondly from her childhood.
She said: “It had real candles on it and my mother used to put it on the fireplace and it seemed so big to us, though really it’s tiny.
“She would light the candles and we would squeal with delight for the few seconds they were lit. Then she would quickly blow them out before the flames burned the tree down.”
The tree has been in Kathy’s possession since 1973 and she has decorated it every year, first with the help of her two sons and later with her three grandchildren.
She said: “It’s got tattier and tattier over the years but I still dress it each Christmas. I have a big tree in the hall, which is decorated in red and gold and looks very festive, and then this little one sits in another room.
“It’s got lots of decorations on it, including ones my boys Tim and Simon made at school out of plasticine, so it’s full of character but you can’t really see the feathers it was made from.
“Sadly I don’t have any old pictures with the tree because you didn’t really take photos like that back then.
“But my children and my grandchildren helped decorate it when they were younger and hopefully it will go to one of the boys when the time comes, and they will keep dressing it every year. It’s important to me to keep the tradition going until it finally falls to pieces.”
Sign up for our free What’s On newsletter
How we spend our free time has changed massively, but there is still plenty you can see and do.
We’ll have the best options in our regular what’s on newsletter, packed with the latest news, shopping tips and fantastic deals.
How do I sign up?
It’s free, easy and takes no time at all.
- First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre.
- Once you’re there, put your email address where it says at the top, then click on the Echo What’s On button. There are other newsletters available too if you want them as well.
- When you’ve made your choice, press the Save Changes button at the bottom.
Now, Kathy is looking forward to Christmas, despite it being a different one for everyone. She said: “I’m going for lunch at my son Tim’s house, as he lives nearby and he’s putting up a marquee in the garden for Christmas lunch. It’s been a difficult year for everyone but we’re determined to make the best of it.”