Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Trees in My Life

             These trees are from 1955 and 1956.  I was  5-6 years old and my sister was 3-4 at the time.

 This one was 1955.  That means my mother was only 25 years old and Dad was 28.   My parents had moved to Michigan from Missouri so there were no big family gatherings for us.  My mother was only 18 when she came north.  I asked her once, not that many years ago,  "wasn't that difficult?"  She kind of shrugged and said, "That's just the way it was."    I think she must have some to terms with it all ago.

These trees were real.  They were tall and thin or short and fat.  They smelled like pine.  We put up the tree about two weeks before Christmas and we always opened gifts on Christmas Eve night.  My father was a 2nd shift worker for GM and did not want to get up in the wee hours with 2, and soon to be, three children.  I never had a traditional Christmas morning until I had daughter # 1.

Move ahead now to 1967.  I was a Senior in High School.  You can faintly see that same small rope of silver tinsel.  I think the curtains are still from the 50s as well.  This as a particularly festive year with  a construction paper chain hanging from the ceiling.   That TV is the one my brother shot with a BB gun when he was about 8.  Oops!  It was resting on his lap and he pulled the trigger.  It left a ping ricocheted bullseye about the size of a quarter.   We lived with it another 10 years.

On into the 70's we had some pretty regular trees.  Nothing much different than these.  I don't know what struck me senseless in the 80s when I thought these trees should come home with me.

There is nothing redeeming about this tree.  We continued with the family tradition of random strings of tinsel and the hanging icicle kind.  You can see clusters of bulbs hanging at 3 year old level.  Holy cow that thing is ugly. 

It was in this house that I discovered Clair Burke's  Applejack & Peel  fragrance candles and potpouri.  It's almost impossible to find now.  I had to order some on line.  It just smells like Christmas to me.

This is no better.  There appears to be two large sections out of each side of the top.  Even that stategically placed red tinsel  and the 5 link construction paper chain, cannot distract your eyes from this poor sad thing.  Somewhere around this time frame, no one wanted to go on the wagon ride and slug through the snow in boots and heavy coats.  What this Mother thought was making memories was not being appreciated by my young crowd. 

After the tree mutiny,  Terry and I would go get a cut tree and wrestle that thing into the holder and then into the house. 

We moved to  South Carolina from this house and then returned a couple of years later.  We still had live trees and the girls helped put on the decorations.  When I was a Mall rat, they would often put it up by themselves and I loved that even more.  No, I can tell you what I loved the most.  I always had to work the day after Christmas and they would take all the decorations down and it would be all put away by the time I got home.  That was such a gift.

I was a little late coming the fake tree decision.  I fought it but it really is easier. 

I burned Yankee Christmas candles so there was the fragrance of pine in the air, along with the Applejack & Peel.   We lived in this house for 8 years and I kept that green living room and burgundy furniture all that time.  Only the gifts changed.  The tree stayed the same. 

I miss those poor sad trees.  My daughters don't talk about that fake tree.  They remember the live ones.  The lopsided, needle shedding,  living room engulfing real trees.   You need to experience walkng across the carpet in July and getting stabbed by an errant pine needle.  Try as they might, there is no candle that really has that Christmas tree smell.


Chatty Crone said...

I love walking through your memories with you.

What I am amazed at is that you have pictures of all of them and know where they are.


Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh I loved your walk down memory lane with your trees! At the time they were beautiful! :)

Kathy said...

I loved these old photos! You're so blessed to have so many from your childhood!

The live trees were sort of "homely" back then, but they were always beautiful in my eyes!

You are so right, a candle just can't reproduce that smell either!

Kathy ... better known as Nana said...

Oh my, I'd forgotten about Applejack and Peel ... I loved it too. I didn't realize you can buy it online. I think I may have to order some!

We did an artificial tree for a couple of years. We bought a more expensive one, thinking that it would look more realistic (and I suppose it did to a certain extent), but it just wasn't the same as a real tree. So the year that one of the branches broke, we tossed the fake tree and have gone back to real trees. The artificial trees are convenient (especially the prelit ones), but they're just not the same.

Intense Guy said...

That's quite a collection of photos!!

I think any Christmas Tree (even a Charlie Brown droopy one) is beautiful. :)

BECKY said...

Oh, what wonderful memories! That one fat tree is really funny! But, like you said, it's the real trees your daughters remember. I'm very close in age to you, so I had the same kind of trees in your B&W photos. Thanks for sharing!

BECKY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gigihawaii said...

I prefer fake trees even though they are fake. Lol. Merry Christmas!

Jake said...

Oh my! I've said before that we're the same age and these trees could have been ours.
Have a safe trip and get some good hugs!!
I'm off to find photos of our Christmas trees to post next week!!

Gran said...

Thanks for sharing your Christmases with us, and have a happy holiday!

Rae said...

Reminds me a great deal of trees from my past. Lots of memories attached to them. It's like a walk down memory lane.

Kay said...

What fun to see all those different, happy trees. It's wonderful to have such happy memories.

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