Tag Archive | Christmas Trees

Oh Christmas Tree – So Glad to Meet You

“Hi, can I help you find something?” the girl said with a smile as she looked up at me.  Her red cap covered the top of her head of long, brown and shiny hair.

“Well, right now, I am trying to find my husband. He got away from me right when we got here. I don’t know where he is,” I said.

“I have heard a lot of people say that they are looking for someone today.”  Her smile was contagious.  This was our first time getting a Christmas tree without any of our children along to help.  Since Mike is always in a bit of a hurry, I should not have been so surprised that he disappeared from me so soon.

“Really?” I asked, as I spotted Mike coming out of the forest of Christmas trees in the lot.  He walked towards us.  “Oh, there he is,” I said to the girl.

“How tall of a tree do you want?” the girl asked us.

“Oh, about that tall,” I said, as I held my hand over Mike’s head.

“That’s about six feet,” said another worker as he walked by.

“Where are the Fraser Firs?” I asked the girl.  Mike went off again to find some fir trees that he liked.

The girl showed me some fir trees and named many other types of trees as we walked along the dirt path.

“A blue spruce is good if you have a cat because it is pokey. It will poke a cat if it wants to play with the tree,” she said.

“We have a new dog, and I don’t know how the dog is going to react to having a tree in the house.”

“My dog doesn’t play with the tree, but it does like to drink the water.”

Mike found a Fraser Fir that he liked, but we noticed that it had two tops that had grown a little above the center of the tree.

“We can cut some of that off, if you like,” said the girl. “What kind of top do you put on your tree?” she asked.

“We have a star.  The star could fit right over all these little things poking out,” I said.

Mike twirled the tree around and we noticed a bare spot in the back.

“We can face that part towards the wall,” I said.

“Would you like a fresh-cut?” she asked.

“Yes.”  The girl quickly found her brother and asked him to saw off the bottom of the tree.  She told him that Dad showed her how to do it, but that Dad didn’t want her to do that yet.  The brother sawed away some of the branches and the bottom as he mumbled some things that we couldn’t hear.  It made us realize why his sister was the one out selling trees.

“Do you want to haul this out to the car for me?” Mike joked to the girl.

“Oh, I can find someone to help you,” she said.

“Oh, that’s okay,” Mike said, as he started to haul the tree to the van.  We exchanged “Merry Christmas” wishes as we said our goodbyes and thanked each other.

Since our own children were not with us, I was so glad to meet a very nice and helpful young lady; someone who shared some Christmas cheer with us.

After we got home and had the tree all set up, Lila sniffed at it a little. I put water in the stand, and it was if the sales girl had been predicting the future:  Lila drank some of the water.

If things continue this way, it looks like I am going to have to water the tree more than usual this year!


Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

“Dad, I was wondering if you could help me get a Christmas tree,” I asked.  It was my first Christmas in the duplex.  My first Christmas in my own place, not living in my childhood home with Mom and Dad any more.

Of course, Dad said yes.

Dad came over early Saturday morning.  We were going to go downtown to the Farmer’s Market where we used to get all of our “real” trees before Mom decided that we needed to have an artificial tree.  Mom thought it was best to get an artificial tree because it was easier, it did not cost as much, and it was less hazardous.   Right about the time I got a stuffed Snoopy for Christmas was about the time we got an artificial tree.  No matter how annoying my younger self got or how much I begged, we never got a real tree in that house ever again.

Now that I had my own little rented place, I was ready to get a real tree.

Dad was all bundled up with his dogged ear cap and chopper gloves keeping him warm.  The collar of his coat stood high to block out the cold.  The newly fallen snow swirled around in the wind and was piled in drifts around the house.

After I pulled on my boots, wrapped myself up in my black pea coat, and put on my black woolen cap, off we went in Dad’s car.

It was a short trip to the Farmer’s Market.  We passed the large, old houses on Fremont Avenue.  They towered high on each side of the street and broke up the grayness of the sky.  When we arrived, we traipsed along the snowy paths, and I saw the tree that I liked almost right away.  It was just a little taller than me, and it had very sturdy branches with plenty of needles.

We told the man that we liked that tree, and Dad paid for it, which was a surprise.  I was ready to pay, but was glad to be a kid with a Dad who wanted to pay for my first Christmas tree.

Mom had sent the old tree stand over with Dad.  When we got back to the duplex, we put the tree in the corner of the dining room in front of the bay window, so that its soon-to-be lights could be seen from the street by passersby.  I made sure there was plenty of water.  As the tree started to thaw out, it let off a piney smell that emanated throughout the entire place.

Dad wished me luck, and I thanked him before he left for home.

I put up the lights, I strung popcorn, and dangled the strings on each branch.  I placed golden bulbs evenly amongst the branches.

Days went by.  I noticed that the tips of the branches were starting to turn brown, the piney smell had faded way too fast and that the tree was not drinking any water.  Whenever I walked through the dining room, some needles would fall.  The needles clinked as they fell on the golden bulbs and the lights, and made a perfect circle beneath the tree on the wooden floor.  I wondered what was wrong.

I talked to Dad and Mom about it.  They didn’t know either.  We dubbed that tree the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  Sadly, all the needles were gone before Christmas.  I did not dare plug in the lights.  The bare branches held a wilted popcorn string.  The golden bulbs were the only thing that sparkled.  I felt like Linus without my blanket, I was so upset.

A few days after Christmas, I quickly gave up on my dream of ever having a real tree again, and I went to Frank’s and bought an artificial tree for half price.

Many years went by with time spent with that artificial Christmas tree.  I dragged that tree into the house that I lived in with my husband.  Then, the kids got to know that fake tree too.  Nobody really liked it, except my Mom.

Right about the time that our youngest child, Matthew, got a stuffed Snoopy for Christmas was about the time when Laura, our oldest child, started asking if we could get a real tree.  I thought back to my Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  I didn’t know if I had it in me to go through the anguish of another sad tree shedding its needles one by one right before my eyes and ears.

The asking and prodding multiplied among our three children.  Over and over I heard, “Can we get a real tree?”  That question brought back many memories of my young whining self – that little girl who always wanted a real Christmas tree because it makes Christmas more real.

So off we went early one Saturday morning.  We shuffled along the paths and found a beautiful tree.  We told the man what tree we liked.  I watched him saw off the bottom of the trunk.  It was so that the tree could drink water.  That is when I realized that was what we forgot to do before my dear old Dad and I left the Farmer’s Market!  It had been so long since we had gotten a real tree, that Dad and I forgot to saw off the bottom.

Good grief.  I felt like such a blockhead!