I have fond remembrances of our family Christmas trees and the tradition of selecting and decorating one every year . Odd, but they always seemed bigger at home than in the field. Often, it was challenging just getting it through our front door and into the stand. Invariably, the very tip of the evergreen would brush the ceiling, leaving sticky sap spots on the flat white finish, a convenient reminder for the exact placement the following year.
Our adventures began with a chorus of Christmas carols while driving to the tree farm. There, we scattered about, sometimes laboring through snow in our heavy winter boots, or catching snowflakes from a sudden squall with the tips of our tongues, as we weaved among hundreds of evergreens in search of the perfect one to take its place in our home. If ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, our choice was more difficult because we had four sets of eyes, each with its own sense of beauty. But in the end, we’d agree on one and tag it as ours
The back and forth sawing quickly heated my body and I would shed my jacket and hat. Surely, I silently cursed the sharp needles pricking my cheeks while kids and mom laughed and threw snow. After the “timmmber’ stage, came dragging, hoisting, and tieing it to the rooftop with enough rope to hold down a ‘big top’, then driving it home slowly, every knot I made pulled taut by the challenging headwinds.
Our efforts produced a beautiful Christmas tree each year and we would proudly gather to admire it with wide open eyes reflecting the twinkling of the lights and ornaments. As we enjoyed the beauty of the moment and our traditional ice cream Yule log, the annual declaration was made…
“This is our prettiest tree ever”
And it always was, ‘the prettiest tree ever’.
Times change, children move on, traditions wain, but the Christmas tree remains the centerpiece of our decorations. It brightens our spirits and sends a joyous message of the season to passers bye who see our window. It stirs fond memories earlier Christmases, growing up with my large family and our different traditions.
And while this year’s tree is an artificial one that has no sticky sap, it still gets turned one way and then the other until just right. And I still hear the words, “It’s the prettiest tree ever”, and it always is.
Do you have memories of Christmas trees and family traditions that are special? Its fun to share them…
Dedicated to my wife and children who helped make our Christmases special.