Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 24 - The Christmas Tree

On the 24th Day of Christmas,
I'm supposed to talk about the Christmas Tree.

Did you have a real tree, or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree?

When I was a kid ... we always had a real tree, but a dead one. My folks would get it from a tree lot somewhere. The tree was usually 6 to 7 feet tall, and was almost always a Douglas Fir. I think we had several flocked trees over the years.

The tree was set up in the "cubby-hole" at 2119 30th Street in San Diego - the upstairs flat. It was visible from the street. I think my dad attached the tree stand, and strung the lights - they were multi-colored bulb lights on a continuous string - if one went out, they all went out. My mom would put most of the ornaments on the tree, especially the "nice" ones that were up at the top where little boys couldn't touch them. Then she had a gauzy white covering to put over the tree stand.

The "cubby-hole" was out of the traffic areas of the living room, but it was highly visible to anybody in the living room. If one of we boys were caught shaking, feeling up or opening the wrapped gift boxes, there were threats made about taking them back to the store.

There were other Christmas trees in my life as a kid. My grandparents always set up a tall Douglas Fir in their living room - in the corner by the window looking out toward the Bay. We went there for Christmas Eve because they had a fireplace (made sense - Santa could visit us much better - although he never neglected us at 2119).

The other Christmas Tree was at cousin Dorothy's house in Kensington. Dorothy was my dad's first cousin - her mother Emily (Richmond) Taylor was my father's mother's sister. Dorothy was an artist, and always had a non-traditional tree. Not an evergreen - usually a manzanita bush without leaves, or some other hand-cut bush or tree. She decorated this tree with hand-made ornaments of her own design. My mother always loved the originality, to we boys (including my dad), this wasn't really a Christmas Tree.

A side note: I'm going to concentrate in these posts on my childhood, rather than on my married family times, or the current post-children years. My goal in writing these is to be able to provide a nice collection of memories so that my children and grandchildren can read them if they are interested.

Another side note: The B&B in Julian does have wireless access, so I will post a time or two each day. We got here after stops at Dudley's Bakery in Santa Ysabel and at the Santa Ysabel casino, which is fairly new, and relatively small. We met two couples at the B&B, and shared life stories with them over hors d'oeuvres. We went to dinner at Romano's - Italian food, decent. Linda called an old friend that lives in Julian - we'll meet them tomorrow. It rained all day and will get down in the 30's tonight. We're in the lodge so we don't have to go out in the weather.


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

As a child I think I wouldn't have thought much about Dorothy's tree but as an adult I would love it.

Jasia said...

When I was a kid growing up I thought everyone in Florida and California decorated palm trees instead of pine trees.

Did you ever see snow on Christmas?