Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - The Tree

My family is very particular about traditions which is most evident in our celebration of the Christmas season. I love this time of year and love carrying on our traditions. This series of posts will relive those wonderful Christmas memories.

The Tree

The Christmas tree in our house was ALWAYS a live tree. No exceptions. Although there is the drama of sap and the joy of finding needles months later, there is nothing like the smell of a real Christmas tree to get one into the Christmas spirit. As a family we would travel to any of the myriad of Christmas tree farms in the area to get our tree. We would hunt and peck through the selection for hours until we found just the right one. Then my father, usually with my brother's help, would cut down the tree. Our tree was set up in my parents room for many years because my mother and father loved to look at the tree while they fell asleep. Later we moved it to the living room.

My mother worked for Hallmark Cards for 34 years and is an avid ornament collector so our Christmas tree was always covered in the special ornaments she collected from that year. Her collection made our tree was different every year. The exception were three special Hallmark ornaments that we used every year (and still do). They are made of pewter and were always the last ornaments to be hung on the tree. My brother hung the drummer boy, I hung the angel and my parents hung the snowflake.
Our tree, 1996
When I was very young I remember my father hanging a special ornament that he said came from his childhood: a white reindeer with a red nose. I believe it came from Montgomery Ward.
My father and I with our dog, Sandy. The package was a dog bed! You can just see the Rudolph ornament to the upper left of my dad's head.
One of my favorite Christmas tree memories is from my first Christmas living in my own apartment. I was too busy to get a real Christmas tree so my plan was just to put up a small fake one. One day when I came home from work I found a Christmas tree on the porch of my apartment! My parents had gotten two during their annual trip to ensure that I didn't break tradition. Wonderful! Here is how that tree turned out:

 I know, crazy classy. But I really did love PBR!

1 comment:

Hummer said...

Very nice. My dad and I used to always always go to my aunts and cut a tree. Loved the fragrance. When my husband and I had a fireplace, it was decided it was not safe and we purchased an artificial tree.