Good morning to everyone. You probably looked at the title of today's story and wondered why Christmas trees...tight? Well, there is no telling where my mind goes in the morning. today I pondered over what to write about and it just popped into my head.
Now, I remember as a young child growing up that the last day of school, I would run home because I knew that it was the day that we would decorate the Christmas Tree. I never really thought about how it got there...just that when I would walk in the door, it would magically be there waiting for me to decorate it with my grandparents. I never recall ever going for a Christmas tree until much later in life.
When I got married...one of the things I really wanted to do was to go to the woods and chop down a tree. I can remember one year, we all bundled up and I had organized a group of friends who all thought it would be a great idea to do the same. We planned on meeting at an IHOP for breakfast and then head out. I remember arriving there about 6:30 A.M. and spending almost the entire time in the bathroom. I was three months pregnant and sicker than a dog. In fact, I was so sick, I couldn't go on the outing that I had planned. My husband took me home and had a cousin stay with me. I insisted he go back to the group and go get us a tree. I felt terrible that I couldn't go, and since I had planned the whole thing...I felt that one of us needed to be there. Well, the trip was planned to a farm out in Woodstock, Illinois. The group had a caravan of cars that made the trip out, only the weather was not conducive for cutting down a tree. It was pouring rain. Cold, but not cold enough for snow. My husband caught pneumonia and refused to go chop a tree down ever again.
Well, two years later, I had convinced him to go again. this time it was my mother, 2 daughters, my husband and myself. We trudged through the snow, around and around, until I found the perfect tree. My husband chopped it down and we dragged it to the little shack that was there to warm up in. I remember that they had these beautiful porcelain Christmas ornaments that I purchased while my husband and the tree keeper tied up the tree to the car.
That was the last time that we ever went out to chop down a tree. My husband refused to do it again. Now, even though I was disappointed that he didn't want the adventure, each year we would find a local vendor on a nearby lot to purchase our Christmas tree..and then would string the popcorn and decorate it. Each time hanging those porcelain ornaments and fondly remembering that day in the snow.
Now years went by and one year we had what you could call the Charlie Brown Tree. Now it didn't start out that way, but on a daily basis...you could hear the sound of rain falling...we would look out the window and nothing. Eventually, we discovered that it was the tree pouring its needles down on the ground. By the time Christmas came...our tree branches were almost bare. We never could figure out what was wrong, but that was the last time we had a live tree in the house for Christmas...or so my husband thought.
It really bothered me that my girls wouldn't know what the smell of the Christmas tree was all about. So one year, I purchased a 3 foot live Christmas tree and hid it in the outdoor shed until Christmas Eve. It was customary for us to go out for Christmas Eve and once we returned home, tuck the children into bed and pull out all the wrapped gifts from Santa to place under the tree. Well, that year, after the children were asleep, my husband got a Christmas surprise. I told him I had a live tree that I wanted to decorate to surprise the girls with. I thought he was going to kill me....but he obligingly went to the shed and got the tree. We quietly decorated it and had it placed in the hallway between the girls bedroom and the dining room. I had placed a presents under the tree and then created a trail from the small tree through the dining room and into the living room up to the large tree. I attaching a note on the live tree from Santa to the girls that he thought they deserved a special tree that year from the north pole. Oh the sound of their squeals when they opened their bedroom door, mad my eyes pop open the next morning. It took everything I had to not show any expression on my face when they ran into our room and leaped onto the bed with that amazing Christmas excitement. It was the Christmas tree I will always remember with joy. They asked if they could keep it in their bedroom. I told them I am sure that Santa would be pleased. It was so fun to watch them go from gift to gift through the maze that I had created through the rooms, under the dining room table and around the coffee table, reading whose name was on which gift. We only once since then had a live Christmas tree, which after 2 hours had to return because I had become severely allergic to it. I don't believe I was allergic to the tree as much as I was allergic to the chemicals that they sprayed on the tree to preserve it. Well, we have had our share of trees and now, this year, I have decided to keep a Christmas tree up all year. I have been decorating it with new things for each month. For January it was filled with horns and new years hats, for Feb. it's décor was hearts and red and pink glittered spokes. For Presidents day it hosted red white and blue items along with pictures of all the presidents. For March St. Patty items were it's decorations. At the end of March it changed into bunnies and eggs for Easter. May it donned hats and flowers for Mothers Day. In June, it was filled with butterflies and dragonflies. In July, well the 4th of July was its theme with flags and stars in the traditional colors. Now in August it has flip flop of various colors and red and yellow flowers. September looks like it may hold apples and leaves and October may bring more leaves and pumpkins and spooks. November will surely display some pumpkins and pilgrims along with corn. I will enjoy the fun for December as I place the holiday mice upon its branches. It has given me joy throughout the year.
There is one song that I love that Bing Crosby sings...it is when you trim your Christmas tree...think of me...beside you. It makes me remember the years of trimming the tree with my grandparents, my mother, my children, and my grandchildren It takes me to place that is filled with love and joy. There was a time in my life when I would put up 5 trees in my home. They were all specially decorated....but the most enjoyable one was the one we called the Memory tree. It was filled with ornaments from all of our lives. It told a story of each of us and of those who are no longer with us. It brought such pleasure to look at those ornaments and share the memories of days gone by. What joy and laughter a Christmas tree can give...that is why I left mine up all year, as a reminder of all that joy.