When we lived in England, the general plan was the same, but I don't recall the selections being the live trees. They were typically the real trees, cut for the purpose of helping create Christmas memories. One Christmas, for reasons still unknown to me, Mom decided SHE was going to perform the Christmas tree selection. I think she took ALL of her six kids with her when she WALKED to the Christmas tree lot, some mile or two from our house. We were kids. We were short. All of the trees were tall to us. But Mom was bent on getting a tall tree, because we had taller ceilings over there than we had in our US home.
The tree was beautiful. Perfect shape, lovely color, soft needles, and TALL. Mom paid the lot attendant and we hoisted that big tree up, and headed for home. Did I mention, we were kids? We were short? Well, were were also WEAKLINGS, and this was a HEAVY tree. After a short distance, I think it must have begun to dawn on Mom that this was not the best plan she'd ever concocted. I could almost feel the wheels spinning as she came up with "Plan B."
Bus stops punctuated our route home. And at each bus stop was a bench. We took a rest at one of these bus stops, letting the big tree rest on the ground as we rested on the bench. And then Mom told us she thought we should take the bus home... WITH that giant tree. Well, we were kids, and we were small and we were weaklings, but even WE thought that was never going to work. But Mom had her mind made up and when the double decker bus rolled up to the stop, she asked the bus conductor if we could ride, standing there at the back of the bus, where the stairs led up to the upper deck, holding our giant Christmas tree out the side.....
Oh, yes we DID get that tree home that way. Sure, we still had to make the walk up Griffiths Ave, from the bus stop by the willow tree, but that was a lot shorter walk than Mom had originally planned for this little escapade. We were happy to be home and done with hauling that big tree.
Our enthusiasm lasted until Dad arrived home and saw the tree. Unlike Mom, Dad had the "eye" for assessing height. This tree was too tall for the house, regardless of the extra height of the ceilings.
I don't recall the details of how the tree was "reduced" but it was. But somehow, despite the reduction, Dad went and secured another tree. The big tree we'd hauled on the bus was put up and decorated in my brothers' room upstairs and the other tree was in the living room. As far as I can remember, that was the last time Mom selected the tree.
Since that Christmas, I have participated in the selecting and decorating of more than 40 Christmas trees. I still prefer the real trees, though I have had artificial trees on and off for the past ten years. This year we will have an early Christmas with my grown children and children-in-law, my mother and stepfather and perhaps some other family members. My daughter and son-in-law will be spending Christmas in France, so we will have our "Christmas in Virginia" at the pond house on the weekend of December 11-12th, before they leave. Since there are no little children in the family now/yet, we will do "grown up" stuff. We'll bake cookies and other Christmas goodies, go to my son's Christmas concert, eat out afterward and just enjoy visiting.
Between now and then, I will need to find the "perfect" Christmas tree.....
|Ornaments from Childhood|
|A Very Small Judy on a Christmas Morning Long Ago|