Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gathering Around The Christmas Tree - Karyn Good

Gathering Around The Christmas Tree
Karyn Good

Up and down the street Christmas lights brighten dark skies. Homes are decorated and goodies are baked. Gifts are wrapped and placed under the tree. Carols are sung and stories are told. Christmas Eve is here and everyone is excited, especially the little ones.

We have a couple of traditions in our family that have survived the test of time and a new simpler what-gets-done-gets-done, no stress approach to Christmas. One of those traditions is a fresh cut tree. When our kids were little we would pick a day and pray for good weather. In the car we’d get and we’d travel to the nearest (and only) Christmas tree farm, Come See, Come Saw.

We’d park and the kids would run off to pick a sleigh, my husband would grab a saw. Bundled up from head to toe we went in search of the perfect tree. Wondering the rows and rows we would carefully select the right tree for us. The kids and I would hold it steady while my husband cut it down. Then we’d haul it back to the main area where they’d hoist it up and shake it, dislodging loose needles, nests, and other things you had no wish to take home with you. Then they netted it and you tied it to the hood of your vehicle for the trip home. But not before you partook of hot chocolate and cookies and bought popcorn to feed the reindeer. We did this for years and loved it.

Sadly, there is no longer a Christmas tree farm so now it’s off to the lot to pick one out. But it’s still fresh. We still bring it home and string the branches with colored lights. We add some garland and then hang the branches with my collection of handcrafted ornaments. Some woven, some pewter, some molded, and some carved. This year I added a little felted owl sitting on a branch.

We also set up an artificial tree. That makes two trees to decorate but that’s okay. On this tree we hang all the decorations the kids have ever made. Going all the way back to those first early years when we had no money for anything and a lot of green branches fill. Then there are the school year additions like the wooden spoon reindeer with the bent up antlers and missing eye. The painted light bulb growling moose always makes us laugh. This tree sits in the dining room. All the people coming and going can admire the soft fairy lights showcasing the droopy soapflake angel, the ball with little bits of festive material jabbed into it, pencil marks included. This delightful display of arts and crafts of Christmas seasons past reminds me of how precious time is. When we decorate this tree I swear I hear little feet running and small voices whispering. I remember tiny helping hands. It is one of my most precious collections.

For every year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee,
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,
Much pleasure to you bring me!

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Liz Flaherty said...

Great post. I love real Christmas trees, but haven't had one for years!

Nikki said...

Wonderful memories, Karyn. When our kids were little, we also visited tree farms. As we hunted for the perfect tree, we "marked" candidates with mittens or scarves. Once we chose the winner, we made a game of finding all our belongings!

Nowadays, hubby and I walk up to our small plantation of trees and top one for the house. There's something very special about decorating a tree you planted years ago.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Enjoyed your post. Love decorating the tree.

I wish you the best with your book and Happy Holidays!

Ilona Fridl said...

Great post! I think all families have their own traditions that they look fondly back on. Hope your Christmas is merry!

Lilly Gayle said...

When I was younger, we lived on the same road as my grandparents' farm and we'd cut down a fresh tree every year. Sadly, I haven't had a real tree in 20 years. I just don't have time for the fuss and muss and it's so much easier to pull the fake one from the attic. But I sure miss that fresh cut smell.

Debra St. John said...

We get a real tree for our living room, but we haven't gone out to cut one down in years. We just head out to Menards and grab one from the lot. Not quite as adventurous and cozy, but it gets the job done!