|Peace on Earth. Good Will Toward Man.|
The holiday season is upon us. Friends, family, food, Christmas music and movies during the season of giving make it merry and bright. Our tree, like many, went up right after Thanksgiving. Mine is a beautiful, artificial one this year, though in years past it has been a real tree.
The first tree husband Jeff and I had in 1975 was a six-foot artificial one, like those you see at the dollar store. It was very special—our first as a married couple. I still have a picture of me standing next to it almost as tall as it! By today’s standards it wasn’t all that. Know what I mean? But it was ours. And it was perfect.
One year, many decades of years forward, we were to be hosting Christmas Eve at our new farmhouse, so I decided our family should participate in cutting a live tree. Everyone was all in. Several weeks before Christmas, we gathered at our farm to “go get the tree” and return to decorate it. A crockpot of chili was simmering for our return.
|I love red barns. This is a keepsake ornament.|
Heading out, we loaded up in several trucks and caravanned to the tree farm. The tree farm’s barn had live animals, a small boutique of country crafts, hot chocolate, and Christmas music playing, plus a small heater to warm by if needed. All trees, any size was only $25. Sweet! Away we all went, saw in hand searching for that perfect tree. The guideline was: it needed to be at least eight feet tall, straight and full, no bald spots—tall order indeed. It is the perfect tree not to be found.
Up and down the rows of trees we went. “Keep your eye on this one. It just might be the one we’ll get,” I called back to Mother who had said those exact same words to us thirty years prior at the tree lot in Owensville one cold winter’s night. Sister Debbie and I thought she’d never say, “We’ll take this one,” and mean it. Chilled to the bone the man hurriedly tied it up and crammed it in her car trunk before she changed her mind yet again.
|Warm woolen mittens to warm the hands.|
Finally, at my tree-cutting event that day, some became weary and hungry; I declared with a nudge from my husband, “Alright, we’ll cut this one!” Everyone cheered! At home, that afternoon, bringing our first big bertha tree through the door of our new farmhouse, was like threading a camel through the eye of a needle. She was so much bigger than we had thought. In the great outdoors she looked a fraction of her size. Trying to fit her through the door was almost impossible, unless you have men who want to watch the sporting event of the day. Then look out. It will fit!
With one ginormous push and pull from all the guys, the tree went plowing through the door and thousands of pine needles departed their lovely branches like a winter’s snowfall. Everywhere the needles scattered once again as they impelled her through another doorway like a missal. Finally in her destination of the music room, standing her up, as you guessed, she was way too tall. Down and up, two cuts later and several “turn it to the left, now to the right, and not so much…” we settled.
The chili from the crock-pot was a delicious idea. Afterwards, we girls decorated singing along with Christmas songs playing on the radio and belted out those we grew up singing at the piano—like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” a big hit in the sixties.
So Here’s the Thing…As nightfall came, we turned down the house lights and all gazed at the illuminated tree. It was beautiful, just as I had imagined it would be. Memories…for making and keeping.
|A lovely red-bird so pretty against the ice and the snow.|