Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Calendar: December 1

(This is post 1 in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories hosted by Geneabloggers.com)

Prompt: December 1 - The Christmas Tree
Did you have a real tree or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree? What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?

We were a "real" tree family of the pine variety. Being from southern California, you just don't go in the woods and get your tree. We went to a tree farm. I think it was in the Lake Matthews area, but I was a kid at Christmas, so those details weren't important. The name of the place was Pine Hill Farms (I think. This remembering stuff is HARD!). I doubt the place is there anymore. It's probably 500 tract homes at this point.

Once upon a time, that place had sloping hills of trees. They also had crafts, food and a hay ride around the farm. We'd spend half a day there, then take our tree home.

Our trees were always around 8ft, and usually crooked. Once my dad washed and set the tree in its stand, my sister and I would get to flock it with aerosol cans of Al Gore's worst nightmare. But then it was fun. My dad would cut the trunk at the base in order to straighten it, leaving a disc of fresh wood. I loved the pine smell of that wood.

When the tree made it into the house, it would be placed in the living room where we'd all decorate it. There the tree would wait empty until the morning of the 25th when there would be presents under it.

The tree usually stayed around until New Year's or whenever my mom declared it a fire hazard.

As for my ancestors, I have no idea what tree traditions they had. That's the price of coming from a small family.

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