Time for the Tree!
Christmas has changed a lot over the years, the result of changing times, commercialization, and different lifestyles I guess. Plus living in a larger center than before, and also some factor of selective memory as I get older too.
One thing here in the city is the Christmas tree. We currently use an artificial one, for a couple reasons, one being its easier as we are older, and a second being that the trees you buy at the lots are cut so long ago that they just make a huge mess of needles.
I’m sure there are some cut your own lots, and I guess I could drive out of town and cut one, but its not like home; the land here all belongs to someone, it isn’t crown, and I can’t just walk off the side of the road and start cutting!
Nowadays you see some people with their trees up already, and if not, will be soon. And we will have ours up in the not too distant future as well, as it just is easier to pick at things than it is to try and do everything at once.
But I remember when I was small, the tree was one of the last things. It mostly didn’t go up till Christmas Eve, and likely wasn’t cut till the day before. When I got old enough to do the cutting, I’d take the saw (usually the old bucksaw) and walk up over the hill, and size up a few likely looking firs. We never wanted too big a tree, and nothing looked worse to me than a tree with the top cut off, so I’d generally go for one around 4-5 feet tall. That was plenty by the time you got it in the stand in my opinion.
It was usually December 23rd, and usually was a bit of snow on them (of course that could be part of the selective memory). I’d usually cut two or three and bring them back to the house and into the basement to dry, letting Mom pick out the one she liked best. The others would be used as outside decorations, or a tree for the old school for the Christmas concert, or just firewood!
Next morning we’d put it up, and decorate it through out the day, though I seem to remember some people didn’t even decorate till the kids went to bed, making the tree “magical” when it seemed to just appear Christmas morning!
Christmas season ended pretty much at the same time every year as well, January 6th, old Christmas day, it all came down, and the season was done.
Traditions are nice, and I miss a lot, but I do have to say seeing the excitement my niece gets from the tree being up, and the season in general, I’m happy to start things a little earlier for her sake (and yes mine too, she makes me young again).
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