If your family celebrates Christmas, chances are that your family photo albums have many pictures of your family’s Christmas trees throughout the years. Each family that gets a Christmas tree for their home every year has a slightly different ritual for doing so, too. When I was younger, my parents would usually get a tree in mid – November. We had a wood stove in the room where we would put the tree, so getting it earlier was not really an option because the stove would dry the tree out and result in needles all over the floor. Some years we would buy the tree pre – cut if my dad was having a busy time at work and needed to work weekends. Other times, we went to places where you could choose and cut your own tree. Those were my favorite. There was something magical about trekking through the snow with my dad and my sister to find that tree that looked just right. When I was old enough, my dad even let me help him cut the tree with the saw. Of course, the hot cider or hot chocolate and cookies at the tree farm stand were a welcome treat after spending time outdoors.
Once we had our tree, we would put it in the living room. My dad would put the little white lights on it, and then my mom would get out all of the ornaments. My sister and I helped my mom decorate the tree, and we would also place electric candles in the windows and stockings by the fireplace. I will never forget those Christmas tree memories with my parents and my sister.
Things are slightly different at my house now, regarding the whole Christmas tree thing. When I was dating my husband, we would acquire the Christmas tree for his parents’ house through a unique process that I refer to as “cruising for Christmas Tree”. It involved getting in the car with a hand saw and driving over back roads in a few towns until one of us (usually him) spotted a tree that looked like it was not in anyone’s yard and not in a location where there were “No Trespassing” signs. Usually it would be in a field or near the road and we would park the car. He would get out, cut the tree, place it in or on the car and off we went. Now that we have our own home, we have had a couple of Christmas trees. He “picked up” one on the way home from work the year before last – from where I do not know. Last year, I plucked a tabletop size Charlie Brown style tree from the woods near our house and put it in a vase on the table. This year, we got a very neat evergreen topiary from Home Depot that we planted in a little rock garden near the house. We’ll put some lights on it and forego the indoor tree. I think that in the coming years we will settle into some sort of regular Christmas tree tradition but for now, we’re just trying out different options.
Photo by caz1958 on morguefile.com.