Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010: The Tree
While others in the United States might have had a challenge in finding a Christmas tree, forced to buy them from lots, we were very fortunate to live here in Washington State where Douglas firs were very easy to come by.
We lived at the end of Dennis Street in Tumwater, and up until 1965 we had no houses anywhere near us. We were surrounded by a huge acreage that most likely had been a family farm at one time. The fields around us were cleared and I don’t even remember any tree stumps to speak of. Far behind us were some woods and it could have been from those trees, or the large firs to our west, where the seeds for the small Christmas-size trees in the fields were blown into the sandy loess soil waiting for us to harvest one each December. I like to think of it as the Old Fuzzy Top effect.
Mom always called it “pestering” when my brother Dave and I would begin our annual campaign with the question, “When can we put up the tree?” No doubt, we didn’t really want the tree to go up so much as we wanted it to be there so we could have presents underneath it! Oh sure, we liked decorating our little tree (not quite Charlie Brown-ish, but sometimes small-ish in size) for the most part.
I think we had some commercial ornaments, and we’d always wind a string of lights or two around through the boughs, but we also had some hand crafted by Yates children artisans these aluminum foil decorated milk bottle caps too. We’d beg Mom and Dad each year to buy a new package of silver tinsel and we had strict instructions to put it on one piece at a time. As soon as Mom left the room we’d revert to rebellious heathens and toss it on the tree with wild abandon. Hey, it looked artistic to us.
The tree was positioned in front of the living room window that faced east so that anyone coming up the road would see the lights at night and take notice of our earnest attempt to show our holiday spirit. Our little tree was saying, “Hey, look at us, we have a tree too!”.
I’m participating in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2010 sponsored by Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers fame. Won’t you join us as we blog about our memories through the month of December?