Christmas Trees

Since everyone is in countdown mode to Christmas. I should join the crowd and write about more aspects of the season for the next weeks. Last week it was cards and now trees are on my mind.

When I was growing up, we could not buy little trees grown especially for Christmas. Farmers raised sheep and cattle but nobody raised trees for the season. There weren’t even many artificial ones. My father used to go out toe a friend’s farm because macrocarpa trees lined his driveway. I just looked up the word and fond out those are a type of cypress. Dad would cut off a branch that looked suitable and bring it home.

The branch would be stuck in a bucket of sand. As it was usually crooked a string tied to a nail in the wall held it sort of straight.Then we’d adorn it with rather simple and often homemade decorations. In the good old days, we didn’t have lights. One December we had a new kitten in the house. We didn’t know why the tree was so smelly until we discovered Stevie was using the sand bucket as his litter box. I think that was quite clever of the cat but it did involve replacing the sand.

When my husband and I had our own house and a daughter who crawled along the floor, the Christmas tree was placed inside the play pen. By now there were lights for trees and she was fascinated by them. This daughter had always liked Christmas trees and been known to have two in her house, one upstairs in the living room and one downstairs in the basement. This years she will live in a large new house which she can fill with trees. Maybe not as she has plenty of foliage outside.

When we moved to Canada, we met up with trees grown especially for the market. They smelled wonderful and did not drop too many needles if kept watered. Our cats when they young liked to remove coloured balls and bat them around the room. Decorating the tree was always part of the seasonal tradition and there was such a variety of ornament colours and shapes. I liked to buy something new each year. I remember a couple of occasions when the tree fell over. On one of those times, I was lying on the sofa with a sprained ankle when our dog got himself caught in the light electrical cord. The tree collapsed on me in slow motion. Since I was unable to leap out of the way, I became adorned with tinsel. lights and ornaments.

The kids moved out and I decided to get an artificial tree and brand new decorations. You should have heard the complaints when everyone arrived for Christmas dinner. I had two designer colour schemes, one in pink and one in silver and alternated them. The tree came apart in three sections and was stored in a box in the basement. Now I have downsized to a condo and i have downsized my tree. It is a table top version, 18 inches high and came with lights run by batteries. I have added little red bows made of yarn to customize it. It suits me just fine.

Not sure of next week’s topic. I am in the throes of arranging Christmas gifts so maybe that will be my post.