My Christmas Miracle on 51 trees for 51 years

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

 As many of you know in January of 2014 Donald and I had a fire that destroyed our storage building. Along with the building among the contents were ALL my Christmas decorations. Except, mid summer last year I found my red beads. I was dusting in a curio cabinet and there they were. I remembered packing them up. To this day I call them my Christmas miracle and I do believe in miracles.

Starting with my very first tree that had 5 ornaments, 2 pieces of candy and a ten cents box of icles and these red beads. They were a ten strand necklace that was my mom's, but my daddy took it apart and strung them end to end to make a garland for the tree. One day I won't put them on my tree anymore, but for now they have been on each and every tree.

On the lower branches of my tree I hang the non breakable "cat friendly" ornaments.  This year the cats did not bother any of them. Nor did the dogs. The cats did play with the tree skirt for a day or two until we got some gifts wrapped and covered up.

I laugh when I see fences in home around the tree.  All of my animals would see a fence as a challenge. I will say that I think ittle bitty (the cat in the photo) liked the old lights better than the new LED ones. She used to love to bask in the warm glow under the tree, not it's it's just like 'meh. 

And I'd like to send out a very special thank you to Susan Mangigian who again this year added to my tree with a "historical" ornament from a past year. What a sweetheart she is. And with delight I hung it along with the one from last year and the one from Mary Douglas too.  with much searching I finally found a replacement for Donald's GI Joe helicopter ornament. I think I have the most love on a single Christmas tree as anyone. It's amazing how a tragic event can bring out the best in people. I have the best friends and family.


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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Your cats and mine are very similar.  They don't tend to fuss with the tree.  They are more interested in lying underneath, or messing with the skirt.  

Glad you found your red beads.

Dec 27, 2015 07:54 AM #6
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

I love you Tammy. I hope your Christmas was as nice as a thoughtful as you are.

Dec 27, 2015 08:16 AM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Tammy- I think that the most precious ornament you have on your tree are those red beads.  

Dec 27, 2015 08:26 AM #8
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Tammy Lankford  Beautiful tree and Susan Mangigian  is a doll. I cannot believe your cat looks just like mine . Hope you are feeling better .

Happy Holidays

Dec 27, 2015 10:36 AM #9
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Tammy, I don't think I knew you well enough in '14 to recall that awful experience. Fires are some of the worst things people go through. My parents did right after they built a cottage at The Thousand Islands, it burned down completely right after they'd built it. My dad was devastated. Ironically, many years before, my great grandparents had a major fire on that same property and were severely burned, both of them, as they were in their 80s I believe. My husband had his house burn down and his neighbor saved his dog--there was even a picture in the local paper with her lying on his lap with an oxygen mask on. 

What is your theme of your tree? And, like Kathy Streib, finding those beads was such a miracle. 

Dec 27, 2015 10:39 AM #10
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Hi Tammy Lankford, That really is a miracle, thanks for sharing it with us.

Dec 27, 2015 10:42 AM #11
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

How nice that you found the red beads, maybe next year you will add a strand of beads that are from your jewelry chest.  Your kitty is so sweet.  We certainly missed our kitty this year.  She too liked to nap under the tree.

Dec 27, 2015 10:53 AM #12
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

How wonderful that you found those beads and are slowly rebuilding your ornaments. Cats? Had one who took a light into her mouth and clamped down on it. You could see the light through the skin! Too funny...

Dec 27, 2015 01:20 PM #13
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Kittens get high looking at the blinking lights. As they are used to them they go back to take their nap. You have quite a collection of oraments there.

Thanks for your contribution in Xmas contest..


Dec 27, 2015 02:08 PM #14
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Tammy. Susan sounds like a special lady, thanks for sharing your post, this is what I call paying it forward.

Dec 27, 2015 06:58 PM #15
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I enjoyed reading your post. I love that you still have the garland that your dad made for the tree.

Dec 27, 2015 08:26 PM #16
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Tammy.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  It's good to read that the spirit of the season is still alive and well.

Dec 27, 2015 08:26 PM #17
Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

I love this story about the red beads.  There are miracles all around us all the time, we just need to slow down and take notice.

Dec 27, 2015 09:09 PM #18
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Well that tree looks full of love and new memories that will last for years to come! We have a few ornaments that would be heartbreaking if lost. 

Dec 27, 2015 11:33 PM #19
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I had forgotten about the fire and loss of ornaments.  The fact that you still have the beads is wonderful!  What a find. Had it been me, I would have been in tears when I found them. I'm so happy they were not lost.

Dec 28, 2015 04:42 AM #20
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I went back to see if you ever posted any pictures of your past trees, showing the lost ornaments. Maybe if you do, your AR friends can be on the lookout for replacements. I know I would keep an eye out. Have your checked on ebay for any of the dated ones?

Dec 28, 2015 04:46 AM #21
MaryBeth Mills Muldowney
TradeWinds Realty Group LLC - Braintree, MA
Massachusetts Broker Owner

What a pretty tree!  Thank you for sharing - and especially the miracle red beads, do you think that maybe a guardian angel kept them from harm for you?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dec 29, 2015 12:23 PM #22
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Hi, have really done a great job with your tree. Thank you for sharing your story, your tree pictures and letting us know about the ornaments and red beads. I know you have had a lot happening, and I appreciate you taking the time to enter the contest. 

Jan 02, 2016 07:42 AM #23
DEANNA EARLY - - ( NMLS # 268590 )
American National Bank & Trust - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Highest Ranked Mortgage Loan Originator Virginia

So glad you found the red beads to continue with your tradition Tammy Lankford .   After a disaster, it is always important to have a reminder of the past to go forward with in the new norm.

Jan 04, 2016 05:54 AM #24
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Tammy, I'm a little late to this party..but I am so glad you found the beads! When we had to evacuate for the High Park fire, we had time to pack, and I didn't even think about packing up the Christmas ornaments---but you're right, many of those special ones can't be replaced. I know it will get a little easier as time goes by.

Jan 04, 2016 09:32 AM #25
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Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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