Geneabloggers is once again hosting the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories encouraging family historians to write about their holiday traditions.
Ahh – Christmas tree memories. How much time do you have?
Just hearing the words “Christmas tree” conjures up the distinct look of my mother’s tree. I say “my mother’s tree” because no one I ever knew decorated a tree the way she did. Everyone who came to visit seemed to study the tree before commenting on how different it was. What made the tree unique was the amount of tinsel, or icicles as we called them.
|1952 - Me at the piano - very talented at a young age.|
For many years my sister and I were not allowed to put icicles on the tree because Momma had a special technique that required patience and precision. Momma would take a large handful of tinsel and spread the thin silvery strips of foil along her left arm, as if her arm were a branch. Then she’d carefully transfer the tinsel to the branches, a handful at a time.
|Late 1960s -- Notice how neatly Momma |
hung the tinsel. Each branch was full.
The result was a beautiful icy tree. You could barely see the ornaments, but that was part of the allure –- catching some sparkling striped ball or a Santa peeking through the forest of icicles.
Most of my memories are of a beautiful tree, but then there was this year:
|1972 - Branches rubbed the ceiling.|
Daddy bought a tree that was too tall. Instead of cutting off the bottom, he cut off the top. Who does that? Momma was furious. We always said the tree looked like it was shrugging its shoulders as if it had given up.
Another strong memory of Christmas trees past is shopping for a tree. The Band Parents at my high school sold trees as a major fund-raiser. We made every effort to support them, but we were not content to pick one and go home. No, we had to drive to every lot known to man to compare trees. Part of the excitement? Maybe. However, MOST years the day my dad finally decided to take us tree shopping would be the coldest, rainiest, most miserable day on record. No one felt like getting out of the car to inspect a tree or check for gaps in the branches or judge whether it would fit in our living room. Now over 40 years later when it is cold and miserable out, my sister and I will say, “This is the perfect day to buy a Christmas tree.”