Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, Day 1 - The Christmas Tree

Christmas was my mother's favorite Holiday.  Although I wasn't always with her for the holidays, I was privileged to be with her on her last Christmas  In her memory I'll participate in the GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar.  I can't promise that I'll post every day nor that I'll put up my Christmas decorations on the Blog, but, hey Mom, I'll try!

My family's most unusual Christmas tree was in Wetumpka, Alabama, when my children were almost grown.  Our tradition had been to always journey back to Arkansas to spend Christmas with the grandparents, but this particular year, that just wasn't going to happen.  I recall that Christmas was in the middle of the week.  Our eldest was in college, and just getting him home to us was a complication.  We just decided we'd spend Christmas in our own house and with our own private celebration.  The grandparents were disappointed but understood.

We needed a tree.  For several years, because of allergies, we'd used an artificial tree - due to attic heat in Alabama, age and rust, the tree had gone the same way as the Christmas trip to Arkansas - not happening.  So my second son and I decided we'd cut our own tree.  The only red cedars in the woods surrounding our home were shaded by the much larger hardwoods and were spindly if not diseased.  Native pines were in abundance but again, because of the shade, were mostly stalks with bushy tops - not Christmas tree-shaped at all. 

So we crossed the road to a more open field where several young Southern pines were growing and had branches more or less from the ground up.  If you know pine trees, you know this is not a tree you'd ever find on a tree lot for sale.  The field was soon to be cleared for a house site so even though we were probably trespassing, we knew all the trees were doomed. We cut three pines from 4-6 feet tall - none quite right - but by wiring them together, we came up with a respectable Christmas tree of approximate shape and with lots of branches for ornaments.

Although a bit distinctive and different - we all agreed it was one of our best trees ever.  The perfect complement to one of the best and most relaxed Christmas Days.  Unfortunately, we were so relaxed, we never took any pictures!