Christmas Trees I Have Known

Some of my earliest memories are wrapped up in Christmas. And even though it’s often put in the corner, the Christmas tree takes center stage in lots of recollections.

My grandmother’s baby sister hosted an epic Christmas Eve party every year. Great Aunt Mary Margaret’s Christmas tree was just as spectacular. Bubble lights, strands of tinsel, flocked reindeer and Santa ornaments, angels and snowmen. Glass bells, tiny shiny balls. C-7 lights; every inch of the tree was covered and captivating. How she recreated the magic each year I don’t know,  but the tree was just the same Yule after Yule.

Another epic Christmas tree began as two separate trees that my daddy made into one. He chopped down one for height and one for filler.  Back in his workshop, Daddy got busy like Santa and presto change-o a 20 foot tall Christmas tree that Clark Griswold would have shed a tear of joy to behold was hauled into our house.

The living room in the house that we grew up in had ceilings that soared to 24 feet. Windows were up near the peak. All that could be seen from the outside was just the top third of the tree. When the neighbor boys bragged about how big their Christmas tree was, my brother said, “Oh, Yeah? Come see ours.” So they did.  Let’s just say that ours beat theirs hands down.

When my boys were growing up, I tried to replicate Aunt Mary Margaret’s Christmas tree. It came close, but it was never quite true to hers. It was special, because she was one of my favorite people. Daddy, without saying, was special. Christmas for him was always over the top fun, a precursor to Mr. Griswold.

So, this Saturday my feet are propped up, the tv is tuned to Christmas movies, and I am enjoying my tinsel tree. Does it look like Aunt Mary Margaret’s? No, but it does have bubble lights. It’s way shiny! Would my father have approve? With the disco LED light in place of a color wheel, it is over the top. 

Merry Christmas.


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