Thursday, December 22, 2011

O Christmas Tree

Is yours real? Fake? Skinny or Plump?  White lights or colored?  Is it beautifully decorated in an array of color coordinated ornaments or half naked because the little elf in your house finds the ornaments more interesting when they AREN'T  on the tree?

There are so many different traditions when it comes to Christmas trees.  There are those that won't even consider it a tree if it didn't actually grow out of the ground.  They scoff at the artificial tree and its lack of pine-y fresh smell.  It just isn't Christmas for them if they didn't begin their days crawling under the tree to water it, and end their  days vacuuming up pine needles.  Those darn things get everywhere! 

In our house we have a "fake" tree.  A 6.5 foot "scotch pine", with the lights built right in - why make extra work for yourself with having to actually string lights?  It wasn't always this way for me though.  I grew up in a house where the rule was real tree or no tree.  And you guessed it, there was a yearly tradition around the way we acquired said tree.  Every year, on what seemed like the coldest night of the year,  my dad, mom, sister and I went to get the tree.  Always one week before Christmas.  No sooner, no later.  The tree was kept till New Year's Day usually, or whenever my parents got the energy to lug it back down the three flights of stairs from our apartment to the street.  (Some years they threw it out of the living room window, and we watched it crash into the yard - this was fun!)  Okay, back to the tree getting story...  We always went to Ann & Hope, because that is where you could find a $10 tree.  There was always a small section of these affordable priced trees, and if you looked long enough you could always find a decent one.  "Why pay $40 for a tree when you could get one for $10?" my dad would say! I remember ruining many a pair of cute pink fuzzy gloves while my sister and I held the tree up for my parents to give the look over (pine sap is almost as messy as pine needles.) The perfect tree would be picked out and brought home to be decorated.  The decorating (usually a day or two later) was a tradition in itself.  The same records would be put in the player - no I am not THAT old, my parents are just old school.  The Avon Christmas album was always a big hit.  We each took turns placing ornaments on the tree and it was one big night of family fun time. 

The decorating of my own family's current tree went more like this - Andrew was busy playing while I connected section A to B and B to C, and voila we had a tree!  The tree is pre-lit, so lights were already good to go.  My mom and dad showed up as I was laying out a game plan for having the colored ball ornaments be evenly spaced and distributed.  Glitter here, shiny here, metallic here, repeat (sometimes I take these things too far).  My mom decided she could do a better job (thanks mom), and took over the ornaments.  At this point Andrew was playing outside with Ed, and Audrey was eating puffs.  No Christmas music was playing. 

The tree lasted about an hour before Audrey got to it.  It is now half decorated, and people keep asking if that was intentional.  I am sure I will never find half of the ornaments that Audrey has removed.  Here is the picture of our half naked tree and a few of the more memorable ornaments. 
Isn't she a beauty?

I won this in an army wives ornament swap.  A general's wife brought it back from England.

Kokopelli - from our time living in Arizona


Airborne Santa.  Ed used to wear a red beret just like this.
Santa also salutes when you pull the string, very fun.

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