Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2015 Edition Post # 1

From now and until Christmas Eve I will be participating in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, 2015 Edition by Thomas MacEntee and the Geneabloggers. If you would like to join you or want to know more about it please see this link.

Today's Christmas memory is about Christmas trees. I grew up in Pembroke Pines, Florida. You won't find any Christmas tree farms that far south so you went to Christmas tree lots, usually run by a representative of a tree farm or perhaps an organization who would see trees every year for a charity or church run lots where a percentage of the sales would go to the church. There were lots at churches, in shopping center parking lots and on the roadside near churches, grocery stores etc. 

I remember as a young girl going with my parents and siblings to pick out our Christmas tree. To find the perfect tree we would go to several tree lots until everyone agreed we had the right tree. We would load it onto top of our station wagon or into the very back of our station wagon and you could leave a portion of it sticking out to get the tree home. Then my Dad would unload the tree from the car and take it to our patio where he would cut the tree to fit into the tree stand. My Mom likes to let it sit for a day or two so that the branches would fall into the proper place. Then as a family we would decorate our tree. At least in North Carolina it was cold when we picked out our tree!

In Florida our tree was always in front of the sliding glass door but after moving to North Carolina in 1975 the tree goes in front of the window. I have memories of the old beautiful glass ornaments that are now, sadly gone due to age, breakage or just plain to fragile. Growing up we had multi colored lights on our tree. These lights had a narrow tip at the top but would be rounded at the base of the lights. Those lights were beautiful but they were definitely time consuming as we sat on the floor untangling them, plugging them in to see if they still worked or needed any new bulbs. As we got older those type of bulbs became more difficult to find and of course new lights had to be bought to replace the ones that didn't work. I use only the mini white lights on my tree because it showcases my ornaments which are mostly porcelain. More on those later.

As my children were growing up we usually put our tree up the week before Christmas. There was one year where our tree didn't go up until a few days before Christmas because we had gone to visit Aunt Betty in Knoxville, Tennessee. As we were so close to Christmas we found a beautiful tree that Aunt Betty insisted we take home with us. I just didn't know where or how I was going to get this tree home! I drove an old Mazda hatchback and the men at the tree lot worked their magic and tied the tree down on the roof of my old car so well that it took about 40 minutes to cut all of twine off and get the tree in the house! Looking for the perfect tree with my boys was always the highlight of the Christmas season.

There is just one problem with Christmas trees, I am very allergic to them! I would hang ornaments, garland and tinsel and by the time I was through my hands and arms would be broken into hives and my asthma would kick in too. Finally, one year my Mom & Dad gave me a fake Christmas tree! No more hives and no more wheezing just to put up a tree!

David and Cassie have started their own traditions by going to a Christmas tree farm up in the North Carolina mountains. They spend Thanksgiving weekend with David's Dad and his wife Ann and make a trip to Christmas tree farm. Here are a few pictures courtesy of my daughter in law, Cassie, and this years trip to the tree farm. I just love the look on Easton's face in the bottom picture on the right, Christmas is going to be a lot of fun this year!

Editor's Note: I am reusing photos from last year's ACCM and portions of the original post.

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