Sometimes the hardest part about blogging everyday is thinking up things to blog about. So yesterday i opened up the floor to questions. Oh my goodness I love all the questions and I'm gonna tackle this one first!
Denny144December 2, 2013 at 6:31 PMDo you cut a fresh tree from your property? My in- laws, who live in Missouri, would go to a friend's farm and cut the rattiest looking cedar tree and that's what my husband grew up with. My family always bought a fir/spruce. One of our biggest newlywed fights was over what kind of tree to have and I won mainly because the lots where we lived didn't have cedars.
Oh my gracious Denny you bring back such memories for me that I could just cry. Maybe I will go cut me a ratty cedar Christmas tree.
You see this is the house I grew up in not long after my parents bought it sometime around the early 50's. Daddy had gotten out of the merchant marines after the war and he and mama had traveled the country in a travel trailer. Daddy was working the pipelines and such as an iron worker and they were saving money for a home. Initially they bought this old cypress Acadian style home and 30 acres. They sold the travel trailer and settled down and started accumulating kids.
And a mule!
Daddy worked during the day, mama stayed home and gardened and canned. Milked the cows, took care of the stock and the house and daddy worked nights and weekends on the farm. We lived off that garden and what the land provided. Fruit from the trees, fish from the swamp and game from the woods. Cedar trees grew plentiful and who was going to throw away good money buying a dead tree? Like everything else it had to come from the farm. So my father bundles up his children and we all helped to pick out that ratty cedar. And to a child the cedar was 20 feet tall and plated in gold and my Dad was the greatest man of all time.
To this day I can close my eyes and see the interior of that old cypress tongue and groove ceiling. The smell of fat pine lighter over by the fireplace and smell the twang of cedar from the Christmas tree. It may have been lopsided but to us it was the most beautiful tree God ever made. It always set in the window there right by Mom's treasured shiny white World Book encyclopedias because her kids weren't gonna grow up to be no dummies! Seems like everything we owned back in those days came from the Sears and Roebuck catalog if it didn't come off that land.
Time went by and Mom and Dad bought more land, and finally built a shiny new red brick ranch home complete with turquoise tile bathrooms and asbestos floor tile. And that ratty old cedar Christmas tree was still beautiful
It was an exciting time of colored television and talking dolls. Mama dressed me up to match them and my hair was permanently kinked now with those new fangled home perms every year just for Christmas. New dolls called Barbie and Ken, and Chatty Kathy dolls that talked. Electric trains that you dropped little white pills in and they puffed smoke. I still have many of my Christmas presents from then. Sapphire birthstone rings and music boxes, and probably my most treasured posession is my white leather King James Version with my name engraved on the front in gold. A present from my parents that has lasted a lifetime.
Then Mama decided we needed to get modern and the old ratty cedar was no more. It was the 60's after all and we had to have a shiny new silver tinsel tree complete with color wheel. And while to a child still beautiful it just never had the appeal of that old ratty cedar dripping with mismatched glass balls and peppermint canes.
Years ago when I lived in the city as a young woman we bought a tree every year, like you, usually a fir or spruce. Then my oldest daughter developed horrible allergies to them and I had to go to an artificial tree because of that. So I invested in a huge and expensive artificial tree. The oldest daughter has since married and left home. Now that she has little ones of her own I have given her the big tree for her family and now have a small artificial tree. I have started passing some of the family ornaments that belonged to the children on to them for their own trees.
And that little farm girl in all these pictures grew up and moved to the city.
And like that tinsel tree with the color wheel I sparkled for awhile.
And then I realized that like that old ratty cedar I belonged back on the farm. That deep down the season is in the message and not the trappings.
And perhaps it is the most simple that shines the brightest and the purest of heart that receives it.
Ya know what though.
Maybe I will see if I can find me a ratty cedar for old times sake and load it down with crocheted ornaments, popcorn strings, candy canes and mismatched balls.
I want to know about your childhood Christmas memories too!
What kind of tree did you have and how was it decorated?
PS Keep those questions coming!
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter