2.12.13

The Best Christmas Tree Ever

Do You Want the Best Christmas Tree Ever?

     The first year of our marriage, we lived in a small apartment with a small, newlywed budget. Pinching pennies to buy our first house, our first Christmas tree was a $15.99 Blue Light Special from K-Mart. 

      We loved it and thought it was the best Christmas tree ever.

     It turned out to be a good thing the tree was only four feet tall. On December 23, we were surprised to learn we could move early into the house we were buying. 

     I would never have decorated our apartment for Christmas had I known we would be moving so soon! However, we didn’t have a lot of stuff, so packing up didn’t take too long. We packed vehicles and transported furniture and clothes to the new house about ten miles down the road. We had a family Christmas gathering to attend that night so everything seemed like a chaotic rush.

     Finally, after several trips, the only thing left to move was the Christmas tree. Exhausted and pushed for time, I removed all the fragile ornaments. Then, with all the remaining ornaments and lights intact, I carried the still assembled tree to the car and stuffed it into the back seat. That was fun! It reminded me of how the Grinch stole Cindy Lou’s tree and shoved it up the chimney, except this was a happy occasion!

     On Christmas morning, there stood our little tree in our new home. Holding hands, my husband and I walked through our new, little home. Smiling, I patted the wall in the den and told him, “Merry Christmas!” He led me to the kitchen, touched the wall and said, “Merry Christmas!” Our first Christmas together as a married couple rekindles sweet memories.


Is the Best Christmas Tree Found on a Christmas Tree Farm?
     Another favorite Christmas tree memory was the time we took our two little girls to the mountains to chop down their first, living Christmas tree. We hiked all over the Christmas tree farm in search of the perfect tree. It seemed like we were never going to find one we all liked. Finally, we noticed a tree with an empty bird’s nest in one of the branches. The girls thought this made it the perfect tree. Seeing their smiling faces, we agreed. One of the girls gently removed the nest before the tree was cut.

     After we brought the tree home, and set it in the stand, the nest was snuggled back into its place. We thought it was the best tree ever.  

     The smell of the fresh cut pine tree was delightful—until we realized some of us were allergic to it and only enjoyed viewing it through itchy, watery eyes that year. 

     The following years we had artificial trees. I used to do all the decorating. I had pretty, coordinating Victorian ornaments accentuated with garlands and white lights.  A beautiful angel graced the top. 

     Then the kids took over.

     They insisted we needed a star instead of an angel.  When I was a child, our Christmas tree had a gold star on top so I thought a star would be a fine adornment.  I sent the girls with their dad to get a star for the tree.  Perhaps I should have advised them a bit before sending them off.

     They came back with a star alright. Its projectile flashing of lights in multi-colored patterns was not what I had envisioned. This is probably where we can trace back to the beginning of my migraines. To some, it was the best Christmas tree ever, but oh, how I missed my peaceful angel.

The Best Christmas Tree Ever

     The next year, my dear family thought we needed multi-colored lights on the tree instead of my pretty, white ones. My husband presented the case that kids need a colorful, fun tree. 

     A compromise was made. If you want colored lights, we put the angel on top. If you want the spastic, rainbow star, we use white lights on the tree. The colored lights and angel were chosen and we thought it was the best Christmas tree ever.




     Over the years, the kids’ handmade ornaments nudged my Victorian decorations back into their boxes. A porcelain tea set ornament looks a bit out of place beside a popsicle stick reindeer and handprint angels. A few, store-bought ornaments made it to the tree—always brightly painted ones for the children to enjoy.

     Our family tradition every year is to give the children a new ornament for their own collection.  Quite often, the ornament commemorates something special that happened in the child’s life that year. Soon, the rainbow-lit branches cradled a whole mish-mash of ornaments.  And an elegant angel overlooked them all.


 Angel Overlooking the
Christmas Tree

     Do I miss the beautiful, Victorian themed tree? Not at all. One day, those ornaments may make their way back. I may need to use some this year to fill in a gap. My oldest daughter got married this summer. She took her collection of ornaments with her for their first tree. 

     Over twenty years of collecting ornaments for her—the one that says “Baby’s First Christmas,” the gingerbread house, the Barbie, the grand piano, the scrapbooking one, and so many more are no longer in our home.

     Precious memories.

Children's Ornaments
     I’m going to greatly miss her bright and cheerful ornaments. 

     I think I'll go to the attic and search for that flashing, colorful star for the tree this year. After all, we still have two kids living at home, and we need to have the best Christmas tree ever. 

     What about you? Do you have special Christmas tree memories?




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