Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
I was raised in Provo, and in West Jordan. I currently live in Hyrum, Utah. I am a 29 year old Caucasian female. I am the only girl out of 4 children and I am the second oldest. My whole family is LDS and very religious. I am a Utah State University undergraduate student. I work as a molding sander at Homestead Cabinets. I like writing books, spending time watching movies with family, and working in my friend’s garden whenever I can. I also enjoy collecting things that bring meaning to my life, like the items in this collection piece.
In 2015 is when it all started. I was searching to find a nice nativity set to display at my apartment during Christmas time. The reason I wanted to buy one was to remind me of what Christmas really means. I went shopping all over Logan looking for the perfect one. Finally after weeks of looking, I found a Willow Tree nativity set at Deseret Book. It was on sale, but still a little pricey for me. I hesitated to buy it, but then I convinced myself that it was the perfect nativity set for me. I walked up to the cashier and told him that I was interested in buying the Willow Tree figure nativity set. He went into the back room to retrieve the set and when he returned, he had a sad look on his face. He pulled out the donkey from its bubble wrap and informed me that his ear was broken and that there weren’t any more sets in the back room. He told me that I could order one on-line, but it wouldn’t make it to me until after Christmas was over. I asked him if they would be willing to discount the item any. After he spoke with the manager, he told me that they would discount it 30% more. I agreed to buy it and I walked out of the store that night extremely happy to be able to bring home my new nativity set. I didn’t care that it was broken, it gave more uniqueness to the item. I went home and found some clear super glue and carefully glued his ear back on. When it was dry I placed it by my Christmas tree, so I could enjoy looking at it. This purchase sparked a continuing interest in collecting Willow Tree figures. I bought ones that made me think or appreciate life more. The garden angel is an example of one that I bought because of the meaning behind it. This angel reminds me of my love for nature. It reminds me of working in gardens and growing flowers too. Another one reminds me to be gentle and kind to animals. This figure is holding a small cat or rabbit in her lap, she is referred to as the angel of kindness. I have one that is a birthday angel and it reminds me of how important it is to celebrate a loved ones’ special day. I have around 26 figures now. I haven’t bought any recently, because they cost a lot. The prices for new ones range from 20 to $50.00 each. I like to buy them from other people who are trying to get rid of them because they are more affordable. I hope to be able to have the money to buy more to add to my collection soon. I hope when I do have the money that I will be able to find ones that grab my attention. I would like to buy one of a mom with her baby and another one with a wife and her husband. These two figures would help remind me of some of my life goals that I want to work towards.
The picture on the left is of all the Willow Tree figures that I have collected as of now. The garden angel and the angel of kindness are on the air conditioner unit. One is in the middle front and the other is on the right side at the end. The second picture is of the nativity set that started the desire to collect more figures. The last picture is of the card that came with the angel of kindness. It says, “Thank You. Appreciating your kindness!”
Each figure comes with a little card that states the kind of figure it is, and a small quote is given below. I only have cards for some of the figures, because when I bought them from people and not from stores, the figures would sometimes be missing their cards. I don’t have the card for the garden angel, because I bought it from someone on e-bay. These figures are displayed throughout my apartment. I have some in my room and in my older daughters’ room too. I have more in the living room then I do displayed elsewhere because I can look at them more often that way and remember what they mean. I have two rules attached to these figures. One is they are not moved without my help and two they are not to be played with. If anyone breaks these rules, I take them away and hide them, so that no one can enjoy them for a while. I don’t like to take them away but, I don’t want them to get damaged. My hope is to someday be able to buy a display case to place them in, so they can be enjoyed and I won’t have to worry about them getting ruined.
Intro to Folklore, English 2210
Lynne S. McNIEll
Semester and year
G8: Carving (Wood)
Squires, Aubrey, "Willow Tree Figures" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 222.