Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree came out of the basement today. It's plugged in, and all lights are functioning properly. Two years ago, I finally bought a pre-lit tree, but in spite of the ease of putting it up and taking it down, I miss our Christmas trees of past years.

When I was growing up, we got our tree out of the woods. One Sunday afternoon in early December all of us, siblings, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, would load up into the backs of pick up trucks and head for the woods, looking for the best cedar trees. The biggest tree would end up in Grancy's and Poosie's living room, and we would spend the rest of Sunday afternoon hanging icicles and glass ornaments on it.

One Christmas when I was in school at the University of Arkansas, I was admiring the tree in the Kappa house living room and looking forward to our tree at home. To my horror when I got to Camden, I found a flocked tree from a nursery standing in the living room. It seems that my Aunt Sissy had won it in a drawing.

After I cried and pitched a fit, Daddy went to the woods and cut down a cedar tree. He totally undecorated the flocked tree and put all the colored lights, icicles and ornaments on the cedar tree. The flocked tree was moved to the den and decorated in red. It was too expensive to be thrown out.

Sometime in the late '70's LBeau and I bought our first artificial tree. It was one of those "bottle brush" type trees that had color coded branches that had to be hung from a center pole. One year, a few days after we put up the tree, we started smelling a dead animal odor in the den. Convinced that a mouse had gotten into the center pole of the tree while it was stored in the garage, we took all of the ornaments off the tree but found nothing inside. Finally, we called an exterminator who dragged a dead possum out from under the house.

We bought our second artificial tree in Texarkana. It was a nice tree that lasted for more than 20 years, but I had to put the lights on it each year. LBeau and the boys were not much help in tree decorating.

I hated putting the lights on that tree, but I would painstakingly start by folding down the bottom branches and winding the lights in and out as I worked my way up. For a few years, just before we retired that tree, my friend Glenda and I did a trade off. I decorated her stairs and mantel, and she put the lights on my tree. It was a good trade.

Our last live tree came from a Christmas tree farm near Harpersville, Alabama. LBeau, Brent, Ben and I, along with Susie Hay and Maggie went to the tree farm to cut down trees for each family. LBeau tried to convince Susie that the tree she had picked out was much too large, but she insisted that it was just right. Sure enough Wayne had to tie the tree to the banister to keep it from falling over.

So now that the tree is up, I need to get out the ornaments and finish decorating. I just need to decide whether to put the glass ornaments up high and out of Walker's reach or leave them off all together.

1 comment:

Malvie said...

Put up my tree today--it's a little ceramic one (with lights) that Mother made me years ago. It's been my Christmas tree for years. Got the lights up. That's a blog post.