December 4th

Good Evening out there! 🙂

Sorry to be so late but it’s been a hectic weekend. The winter storm rolled in last night and this morning I awoke to a blanket of snow. The air has a slight chill and now that it has stopped snowing will of course get colder.

We spent the day trying to cover the windows with plastic. I received new windows from the Weatherization program a year ago but now they have a horrible draft that the old ones didn’t. Guess some people just can’t win.

The cats are having a hard time adjusting to the change in the weather. It has their eating schedule all mixed up. Now they want to eat all day long.

Then their sleep schedule is out of whack since the time change and it getting darker earlier. About the time I think they are going to settle down they decided it is time to terrorize the house.

Then there’s the coming and going of my sons that keeps me on my toes. Just when I think their life’s are figured out someone throws a monkey wrench into the mix.

Well so much for chaos at home.

Back to family traditions. Yesterday I talked about baking and foods. Today I am going to talk about Christmas trees.

I had never in my life heard of anyone putting their tree up before Thanksgiving until I was married and had children of my own. What a surprise that was for me.

In my parents home growing up this was the traditional tree customs:

When the kids were little the tree went up on Christmas Eve after bedtime and mom and dad stayed up all night decorating it. Then Santa left presents out and mom and dad were tired all day.

When we were old enough to understanding more about Christmas and help decorate then we got the tree a week before Christmas. We never ever had the tree more than two weeks from the beginning to the end. The tree always came down on New Years. My parents always worried about dried tree needles in the house.

It became a family tradition to go with my uncle to get Christmas trees. He had relatives in Walkerville that sold trees every year. Although they may not have always been the type or price my father wanted he believed in supporting your own. You bought locally, supported family when you could and just deal with it. Dad would always look for a tall bushy tree. My uncle had a pickup truck so it was fun to go in the truck with them and look for trees. I usually would get bored at the tree shop because they took to long but then on the way back us kids got to ride in the back of the truck to hold the trees and we would sing Christmas carols all the way home. It was a fun time for all but the parents.

When dad got the tree home he would take it out back and cut the end of the trunk until it fit in the tree stand. Sometimes having to cut off beautiful branches. That always made me sad. However, he never cut from the top. You had to save the top for the angel or start to sit on correctly. Then bringing it into the house water would be put in the stand. My sister doesn’t remember it but that is where I learned if you put sugar-water in it will live longer.

It’s funny the differences in memories. My sister is four years old and she insists we never did that. But I know we did.

Then my father would start out with the lights. The only part of the lights he would help us with was we got to check the strands for burnt out bulbs and replace them before he got to them. Then when we had a full good strand of lights he would put them on the tree.

After the lights were all in order we could help with the decorations. Being the youngest one I always got to do the bottom rows being warned not to put them where are dogs tail could swat them off.

Mom would be in the kitchen cooking and usually there was Christmas music either on the television or the radio and we would sing as we decorated.

We usually only got lights and ornaments on the first night and waited for the next evening for dad to come home and start the tinsel after dinner. He loaded the tree one strand at a time placing each strand side by side. If you messed up the tinsel you were finished.

It took three to five boxes of tinsel to cover the tree the way my dad liked it. All the lights and decorations hidden under a blanket of silver tinsel. You wondered if any of it would be seen. But at night-time when the lights were on it was beautiful.

Once the tree was decorated every evening was spent sitting in the front room enjoying the beautiful Christmas tree. Slowly as packages arrived in the mail they would be placed on the Tree skirt and we would get a chance to peek at who had sent something.

Mom always made sure when we decorated we got a plate of goodies as our reward for our well-earned work. That made it extra special.

Cousins would call to tell us when there tree was up and finished and compare to how long it was taking us. There would be lots of laughing and giggling on the phone. We weren’t allowed to use the phone much but Christmas always made way for exceptions.

My grandmother in her later years had a table top tree and my aunt liked to decorate it. We would go up and see it on our Friday night visit and oh and ah about how beautiful her tree was.

Back in our day fake trees were a definite no-no. We grew up in Montana in the Mountains where you could cut your own tree if you chose to. You wanted that wonderful smell of pine needles in the air. Sometimes it would be a spruce, or some other type of tree but as long as it was a real tree it was okay.

I never had a fake tree until after my divorce when I just couldn’t do everything alone anymore but it isn’t the same. I eventually gave up the idea of a tree altogether. If you can’t have the real thing why bother.

Now with my cats there is no tree, no decorations for them to bounce around, and I have become somewhat of a bah humbug. Without the little pitter patter of tiny feet. It just isn’t the same.

I still love to look at a beautiful tree decorated and I admire those who keep the family traditions alive. This year I am not sure what we will be doing as our plans have changed since Thanksgiving.

I guess we will take the Month of December one day at a time. Maybe a tree will go up Christmas Eve who knows.

However, for all of you out there I hope you make your traditions that you pass down from grandparents, to parents, to children, to grandchildren and you keep them going.

 

So as I leave you I wish to remind you of a special Christmas Carol:

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How are thy leaves so verdant!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant!

Not only in the summertime,
But even in winter is thy prime.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!
For every year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

May God Bless each and everyone of you. May your hearts be filled with love and joy. Merry Christmas to one and all.  Till tomorrow have a blessed evening. 🙂

 

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