This year my husband and I selected our 42nd Christmas Tree. When the children were young we packed them all into the old truck and went tree hunting. In Mississippi, we have beautiful hardwoods and loads of pine trees but our evergreens for Christmas trees are usually a Cedar Tree, and they grow wild. My husband grew up on a farm and his family property is filled with these trees and so we always drove out to the farm in his old pickup truck to cut our tree. We knew where the droves of trees would be, but it was a walk to get there Once we all managed in and around cow patties, mud holes and sticky bushes we were there. Cedar trees have needle like leaves that are very soft that fan out to make the limb appear to be somewhat flat. They smell divine!
As a small child we had nothing but cedar trees for our Christmas Tree, my mother was known to leave the tree up so long that we decorated it in January for New Years, in February with hearts, and March with shamrocks, really. Our first house was a small house with 8 foot ceilings and even small trees would look huge in the room, but when we built our home where we still live, we did not consider how large a tree it would take to fill the front cathedral window. There was not a tree big enough to fill the space but we still tried.
Each year seemed to have its own tree story from decorating nightmares to early dead tree syndrome and here are a few stories to make your own catastrophes not so bad. The year of the fall – Our first (and last) really large Christmas tree was over 12 feet tall and it did fill the window. The tree stand, however was not quite up to standard, during the night after laboring over the correct way to string lights inside and out and hanging all the precious ornaments from Christmas’ past, the tree crashed to the floor waking everyone in the house, it looked like a beached whale lying on its side all across the floor. We waited until the next day to survey the damage, put it back up again and as we turned around it came crashing down again. Finally my husband tied the tree to the wall and it stayed put.
The year of the cat. My daughter had a need to help needy cats and always had a few hanging around her apartment. She brought one such needy cat home with her one Christmas. Explaining to us that Chloe’ was a “special” cat with “special” needs was an understatement, Chloe” was nuts and wild. Chloe decided one night as we sat by the fire to run up to the top of the Christmas tree and once there had a case of diarrhea. Chloe hung onto the top of the tree for dear life and the more we tried to get her out, the more diarrhea she had. Needless to say we threw that whole tree away, lights and all.
The year of the electrical fire, do I need to say more? We used old fashioned big color bulb lights – yes, the tacky kind, the larger the glow the better, along with reflectors that are used to create even more glow, but the two together get hot, real hot, and are not intended to be left on all day and night. Luckily I was home when I began to smell something burning, the electrical cord was smoking and the branches it covered were starting to sparkle in a most unfamiliar way. FIRE! I forgot to unplug the tree before I threw a bucket of water all over it. Just a little charred tree.
The year of the infestation/ or the year of the bugs. I’m still not sure what kind of buggies they were, but they were everywhere, as if they came pouring out of the tree, but not until it was lighted and decorated, warmed up by the heat of the bulbs or just ready to do some investigating, these little buggers were crawling the floors, the walls the carpet, the furniture, us…
The year I fell off the top of the 8 foot ladder. It was not a graceful fall either.
The year of the dying tree. We cut down a different kind of tree that year, first thing after Thanksgiving, which is early for us, brought it home let it sit in the bucket and soak for a week, brought it in, decorated it and one day the needles were everywhere except on the tree. Dead as a doornail. We shook it good let the rest of the needles fall, vacuumed it up and left the tree standing, our own version of the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.
MERRY CHRISTMAS YA’LL!! from our Tree to Yours.