12.04.2010

Oh, Christmas Tree!


From Jo:  The older I get, the more I think about Christmases when I was a kid.  One of the biggest deals was walking up to a lot, a few blocks from our house, with my Dad, to get The Tree.  The trees were sold flat, and leaned up against a building.  There was nothing beautiful about them and I could never imagine how they would turn into beautiful trees.

For my Dad, it seemed easy though.  He was a tall, slim guy, with big hands, a plumber in his work life.  He would pick out a pile of trees, and start pawing through them one at a time.  He would see one and say "Jo, what do you think of this one."   I'd grimace and say no, no, Dad , its all flat and not a bit nice.  So he would put it back and continue to paw through these trees.  He might ask me once again but if I said No, that was it, he wouldn't ask me anymore. 

Then the magic Moment came, he would pull one out, pay a couple of bucks for it, and despite my protesting that it wasn't suitable, he would say, This one will be alright.  Then we would start for home. 

By the way, This will be alright, were bywords for my Dad.  They were applied to naughty neighbor kids, to lawnmowers, to complaining old ladies, most problems that came along he decided that things would just
"be alright".  And of course, they were!  This is a lesson I have not always learned but I keep trying!

Back to the unacceptable (to me) tree.  It went into the livingroom, fit into the stand we had for it, filled it with water, and watched the branches warm up and fall.  Within an hour, it was so beautiful I couldn't believe my eyes.  My Mom and I decorated it and it was even more gorgeous.

Since that time, I have often asked myself, How Did He Know?  That from those flat, frozen trees, he was picking a winner.  I have decided he had no idea and just wanted to get home, so he picked one.  And he never failed.  A few years later, my Mom thought artificial trees were wonderful and bought one for us.  But I am glad I had my first 8 years as training from a pro!

Will you share some early Christmas memories?  Its more fun than going shopping!

Cheers and hugs,

Jo (and Stella and Ali Z)

16 comments:

♥I am Holly♥ said...

That's a wonderful memory!! I remember when it was Christmas time as a kid, it seemed forever for it to come. My mother would get a tree and we would decorate it and I made all kinds of cut outs in paper to put everywhere. We didn't have much money but my mother always made sure that I had lots of nice presents at Christmas. Looking back, I can only imagine how she had to save from what little pension we lived on. I really miss those days so much! Lots of love, Holly and mom

Ms. ~K said...

I can so relate to this story...

Thanks for sharing such a weet memory!
~K

Bouncing Bertie said...

Oh you were lucky to have a Dad who was a good picker! I was always a bit disappointed as a child because my mother and grandmother (who lived with us) were overly houseproud and always insisted that Dad bought a small wimpy little tree so that there wouldn't be too many needles dropping on the carpet. This was the days before the 'non-drop' tree varieties were available, obviously. Even so, whenever I would be curled up on the sofa absorbed in some new book I'd been given, my little world would soon be disturbed by the sound of the vacuum cleaner once again being manoevred around the base of the tree!
'More stories less shopping' would be a good slogan!
Cheers!
Gail.

Frankie Furter said...

super story grrrrreat memory

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

The Doggy Nanny tells a tree memory of it khrashing to the floor after they went up to bed!

After THAT happened, the tree platform had some khlothesline to ensure it wouldn't happen again!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra
PeeEssWoo: And Mom rekhalls Frankie their furst dog - MALE BTW - peeing on the tree fur his furst howliday!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

That's just such a wonderful memory - thanks for sharing it. We had real trees when I was a kid too. I remember going out at night to find one, never during the day, and it was always so very cold. My poor feet were always frozen. We always went home to some nice hot chocolate and warm jammies. Now we have an artificial tree and every year I complain more and more about all the decorating:( But I still love Christmas.

The OP Pack Mom

KB said...

I love that snippet from your life. It's wonderful!

I remember Christmases at my grandma's house when we'd listen to her static-filled old-fashioned radio to reports of where Santa's sleigh had last been spotted and which way it was heading. We'd worry so much if the weather was bad - what if santa couldn't make it to our house?

Then, on Christmas morning, we weren't allowed to go downstairs until everyone woke up. The problem was that the only bathroom was downstairs! I'd be beside myself with excitement and had no place to pee!

Thanks for bringing back some memories for me...

Tanuki Maxx said...

What a beautiful Christmas tree story!
We dont have any tree story to share since this year is the first we have a mini tree. usually mom just hangs decorative lights on the plant at our corridor! this year she decided to get one, just to get into the spirits of the holidays!

Cheers,
Maxx

The Rocky Creek Scotties said...

What a wonderful memory.

My Dad and I would go to pick out our Christmas tree too, but we would do it on our farm. Sometimes there would actually be snow on the ground when we went to look for it. Dad would always say the ones I picked were too large and he would pick a smaller one, but he was right - it would fit perfect in our living room. When we got home, he would put it in the stand and put the lights on and we would decorate it - Mom would watch and laugh at our antics. How I miss my Dad.

Lynn, The Rocky Creek Scottie Mom

The Luke said...

We love your story. And you have the Mom's head spinnin wif the memories.

She says what she remembers most is the love of her Mama, Daddy and grandmothers... She sure misses them.

wif love from the Luke

Ludo van Doggy said...

What a pawsome post. You should to more like it!

Mum has a memory of when they first got Auntie Penny. They got her in November so fpr her first Christmas she just beed a little puppy. The peoples had gone out visiting family and came back and Penny greeted them with tinsel round her. She had knocked over the tree and eaten all the chocolates and chewed the decorations. She pooed out tinsel for ages!

hehe, now all our trees get put on tables.

Martha and Bailey said...

Hi Stella and Jo, we loved your post today - isn't that just what xmas is all about. That wonderful reliving of xmas memories with those who were so dear to us.
My own father always bought a tree that would not fit in the house.
There were three of us who helped pick - my mother always knew the tree would be too big - but my father, a bit like yours, said it would be allright!
Once home the tree went out to the garden several times to have bit sawn off - eventually it was just perfect.
Beautifully decorated with all our home made decorations!
I don't remember fancy shiny balls that we all have now.
We all made paper chains etc at school and brought them home to put on the tree.

My mum used to knit little things - the tree involved the whole family.
We always had shiny gold chocolate covered coins to hang on it.
Gosh look what you have started!
So nice to see you back blogging - we have missed you.
love
Martha and Bailey xxx

Bobby said...

JOHN SAID HIS BIG MEMORIE OF CHRISTMAS WAS WHEN HE WAS 6 THEY HAD MOVED INTO A OLD HOUSE NEEDING A LOT OF WORK. CHRISTMAS EVE IT WAS STILL A MESS DOWN STAIRS.
WHEN HE AND HIS BROTHER AND SISTER GOT UP EARLY, IT WAS ALL DONE AND THE TREE DECORATIONS AND FILLED STOCKINGS ON THE MANTLEPIECE.
HE RAN UP TO WAKE HIS MUM AND DAD TO TELL THEM SANTA AND THE FAIRIES HAD BEEN. LATER IN LIFE HE LEARNED HOW THE HAD BOTH JUST GOT INTO BED AFTER WORKING THROUGH THE NIGHT.

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

Wow, Stella & Jo! Trips down memory lane. One of mama's earliest Christmas memories was of learning there was no Santa Claus, and it was all her little sister's fault. When mama was about 4 and her sister was 3, her sister [a VERY determined child then and an equally determined grandmother today] was - yes, determined - to stay up all night so she could see Santa Claus. And she did - stay up all night. When the parents found out on Christmas Day that little sister had stood on her bed all night looking out the window for Santa, and that she was devastated because she never saw him so she was sure he hadn't come, Daddy decided we were old enough for the Facts of Christmas. After that, we opened presents on Christmas Eve night, the way Daddy's family always had when he was growing up. We still do today. The kids and grandkids got two Christmases until they were about 6 or 7: the family Christmas on Christmas Eve night and Santa Christmas on Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas to you, Stella & Jo!

Jed, Abby and mama

Sue said...

There's always one in every crowd. Every year at Christmas I got sick. It wasn't until I was married that Rob realized that I'm allergic to freshly cut pines and the Christmas tree was making me sick. Now we have an artificial tree and I can enjoy the holidays.

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Hi Stella and Jo! Wow we loved that story - it made mom a little jealous because she always had artificial trees (because of the cats growing up). She is going to tell her Christmas memory - her she is!

Oh that is such a good story - I think your dad must have had a sixth sense for trees, even if he was in a hurry. We had artificial trees but still I remember our tree just being beautiful - my parents liked to stick to gold ornaments for the most part, and my mom made some special ones, which I still have. And my dad just adored the bubble lights - and not the new ones that don't work too well, but the old kind (which it turns out were filled with toxic liquid, but luckily ours never broke) that just would bubble like crazy.