CacheCrazy.Com: Oh Christmas Tree!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

My family had many holiday traditions while I was growing up.  Like clockwork, every Christmas Eve started with dinner at home.  My mother wouldn't go all Julia Child on Christmas Eve, usually nothing fancier than Sunday dinner.  Meat and potatoes, or perhaps a ham.  After dinner, we would visit my grandmother, and walk over to see Aunt Millie and the cousins.  Of course, as kids we were always excited at the thought of getting presents, and mildly disappointed at the sight of clothes boxes from The Globe or Hess.  As teenagers, we would come to appreciate the clothes, along with the food and cookie spread, which could be found on my Aunt's table.  To this day, my parents still receive coconut-covered dates from my cousin.

After visiting, it was back home for a nap.  We attended Midnight Mass every year, and while an hour and a half long mass was a bit much, we always looked forward to it, as there was something special to it.  After mass it was home, and right to sleep, as Santa was on his way!

One tradition we started a little later on, in my teenage years, was having a real tree in the home at Christmastime.  We never actually went into the woods to get one, as my dad never was the sporty type, but we'd go to the local roadside stand and pick one up.  There was something special about having a real tree.  Sure, the artificial spruce was nice, but nothing beats the smell of the real thing.  Sure, you're vacuuming needles up off the floor until June, but it's worth it.

You sure this thing will fit in the living room?

Sadly, as the years pass on, so do many traditions.  Going to bed so Santa could come would be replaced by exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve.  A nice tradition in its own rite, but its now a quick exchange during the Christmas afternoon visit.  As we lost many family members over the years, the Christmas Eve callings aren't the same.  The Midnight Mass tradition is no longer.  Last, but not least, the plastic tree found its way back into the living room.

This Christmas, my fiance and I decided we were going to re-kindle a tradition each of us had in other places long ago.  We were going to get a real tree for the house.  She recommended the place her family would go when she was a child, and her dad would chop the tree down himself.

Wait!  Chop it down himself?  Where do I sign up?  I'd purchased the real deal before, but never actually done the deed myself.  I was liking the sound of this.

The kids having fun at the tree farm.

Off we went on a cold Saturday afternoon, to Helen & Ed's Tree Farm, in Wapwallopen, PA.  It quite the festive time!  The Christmas songs were blaring in the Tahoe.  We were singing along, some of us poorly, to such favorites as Santa Claus Is Coming To Down, Jingle Bells, and, oh yes, Dominick the Donkey!  We arrived at the farm, and saw in hand, we were scouting out our potential tree in no time.  I had specific orders from the boss.  She wanted a short, fat Douglas Fir.  No problem!  After quite a bit of searching, we found it! (Obligatory Geocaching tie-in)  I got to work with saw, and with the help of a friendly young man from the farm, we had the tree tied to the roof of the Tahoe, and we were on our way back to Wilkes-Barre.

The finished product.  Got a level, anyone?

We get seven foot Douglas Fir in the house, and in the stand, only to realize IT LEANS!  Oh no!  I thought, perhaps, it was sitting in the stand at an angle, or the base was cut at an angle.  Nope, it's all good.  After much inspection and analyzation, I see the problem- the tree is bent towards the top!  I'm sure I missed this in the field, as it was on an incline.  This was but a minor setback, as I cut the top off in a manner when, with the star on top, it doesn't look as bad.  I had the task of rigging up the lights, and everyone joined in with trimming the tree afterwards.  It may not be the perfect Christmas tree, but it's our Christmas tree, and we wouldn't have it any other way.  We've started our own holiday tradition, surely to be one of many!


Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Its always fun to come up with your own holiday traditions. I love a real Christmas tree, but my daughter is allergic to them so we can't have one. I buy pine scented candles and pretend...


What a great Christmas post Dave! I love to learn about peoples different traditions and how they carry over generation after generation. It really puts your own individual mark on a special time of year.
I particularly love this statement, " It may not be the perfect Christmas tree, but it's our Christmas tree, and we wouldn't have it any other way "
Great work!

BigAl said...

What a beautiful tradition to start for such a special time of year. I'm sure your kids will remember it for years to come. And by the way who wants a perfectly straight tree anyway. You stated it well; it's your tree.

Dodger said...

Hey Griswald...

Here's hoping you have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny &*^#&% Kaye.

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