It gets me so mad just to think that we had to drag up that tree once again to find that the lights are not working, frankly, because it drives my husband through the roof. We are not about to check each and every light to see which one or why the lights aren't working. Oh bother!
About three years ago, we bought a tree with the lights already on. You simply plug it in. There is no stringing of the lights. It was portable, and just the right size for the amount of decorations that we wished to display. Easier all around in so many ways.
Last year, my son bought a nice artificial tree like the rest of us. It is so good not to have to clean the pine needles off the floor. They look so real, that it is hard to tell the difference. Real trees are very expensive, and you don't even get a chance to keep it, unlike some of the potted ones that you can plant in the Spring, that is, if they last and you have the room for one in your yard, if you have one.
I can appreciate now the work my poor father went through to get us a real Christmas tree. He would go into the woods, cut it down, wrap it up and drag it home on a sled. Then, the base of the tree had to be sawed, evenly, to fit the holder, which had to be watered constantly. I can still see it as a very fond memory, in the hall. Years later, they bought an artificial one where you literally had to, piece by piece, stick the color coded branches into the notch in the round stick until you filled the three layers. Once the bubble lights were strung on to the branches and the tinsel was added, along with their favorite balls, no-one would even guess it was an artificial nightmare to put together.
The biggest problem was keeping the cat away from it to prevent it from toppling over. The stand was similar to the real tree one, except, we didn't have to keep watering it, and when the cat tipped it over, the water didn't get all over the place. There were no gifts under the tree until Christmas so we didn't have to worry about the items getting wet. Cats will be cats...And, kids will be kids. We always had to play carols while the family decorated the tree together.
My dad always sang "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas," and then would cry, thinking about his mother, and I knew that they had little, but the love of each other. He told us that his mother used to wash her laundry in the river, skin the rabbits his father caught and fish, for Sunday dinner. She made their clothes, and walked to church, all up and down steep hills. They did not have indoor plumbing, and were well familiar with an outhouse, hen house and garden. She made the weekly bread every Saturday, and she would toast it for him over the cast iron stove, and serve it with hot chocolate. Their primitive life style, produced a close-knit family. Like my mother, delivery of the children was at home. I recall hearing one of the children, weighing two pounds was placed in a shoe box behind the stove. She is still going strong at ninety. He referred to those days, always as "the good old days." I never met either of my grandparents, but know them fondly through the eyes of my dad.
I wonder what he would say if I told him that the tree I bought a few years ago, and only used a few times, did not light entirely and met its destination in the trash today? The one he had, lasted so many years and it was passed down. So much has changed in our throw-away society, where with great ease, I went to the store, purchased a new and better one, brought it home, removed it from the box and plugged it in. Bingo it worked beautifully. It's even nicer than the last one.
So much emphasis is placed on the tree. So many memories surround the tree on Christmas Eve and day, yet, the tree has little to do with the "real Christmas" but, your presence.
There is someone out there who needs a "Little Christmas Now." Won't You Be there.....
2 weeks ago