Christmas Tree MemoriesThis year I'm not putting up a Christmas tree. In fact, I'm barely decorating for Christmas. Everyone who knows me is astonished. After all, they know me as the woman who has a closet dedicated just to Christmas decoration. I have an attic full of Christmas decorations, and there are two other closets that have Christmas decorations on the shelves. So have I become a scrooge? No, I'm not putting up a tree or decorating because we're going to Chicago for Christmas to be with our daughter who is about to give birth to our first grandchild. I'm going to live this Christmas on memories of the Christmas trees we've had over the years. Here are a few highlight or maybe lowlights about Christmas trees I've known. I can just smell the scent of a fresh evergreen tree.
I don't remember too many trees from my childhood, except the shiny silver one with the multicolored light that made it change colors. Somehow that same kind of tree resurrected itself and wound up in my apartment when I was a poor single school teacher. That was about the only tree I could afford. The first Christmas after my husband and I got married, we bought a Scotch pine and decorated it. It was quite lovely until it was time to take off the decorations. That tree was really prickly, and I decided that Scotch pines might be pretty but not practical.
The first Christmas in our very own home in Ohio, we decided to cut our own tree. So we went in search of a tree farm. On the way we saw a guy selling trees for $5. So we bought one. Well, as you can imagine, it looked like a $5 tree, but we decorated it and gave a toast to Charlie Brown. We've had a few other Charlie Brown trees as well.
A few years later we lived in the Atlanta area. One of our neighbors had a brother who owned a tree farm in North Carolina. So every year in November we would put in our order for a tree, and our neighbors would bring them back after their trip to see family in North Carolina during Thanksgiving. After they got back, we would go over to their house and pick up our tree without ever cutting the plastic netting. We never had to check them for shape or size. They were always nine feet of Fraser fir perfection. We were spoiled during those years, as we never had to go to a lot to pick out a tree.
When we moved to the Boston area, we had to get used to the cold again and going to a lot to find a tree. The Massachusetts balsam firs we found came from a nearby tree farm, so they were always extremely fresh. The ceilings in our house were only 7 1/2 feet, so we always had to make sure we didn't get a tree that was too tall.
We only lived in Massachusetts for a little over two years before we moved to Dallas. We spent the first five months in an apartment and moved into our brand new home a week before Christmas--not a good time to move. Two days before Christmas, after we had unpacked the Christmas decorations, I insisted that we have a Christmas tree. So we trekked to a nearby lot and found the bargain of all bargains--a $150 tree for $35. It was a gorgeous ten foot Fraser fir. We put it in the corner of our living room which had a tall vaulted ceiling. The following year, I tried to duplicate that tree without spending a fortune and came away with a candidate for a Charlie Brown award. That was the year I decided that I needed a nine foot slim line artificial tree to go in that corner of my living room and that we would put a smaller live tree in our family room. Ever since then we have been a two-tree family. I decorate the live tree with all the ornaments that I've collected through the years--the ornaments that our kids made when they were little and the ornaments I've bought from places we've traveled. And every year I add an ornament with the year on it. I have ornaments from 1976-2008. Yes, even though I didn't put up a tree this year, I did buy a 2008 ornament. We finally replaced our artificial tree two years ago after ten years and two moves--Dallas to Chicago, then Chicago to Florida.
Here are a couple of pictures--one of the live tree I put out in our screened pool area and the artificial one I usually put in our living room. This year I'll just look at the pictures and maybe light a balsam scented candle while I listen to Christmas music.
Do you have any special memories of Christmas trees?