Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Christmas in the 1950s was a crowded time in our small Cape Cod house. Looking at the holiday photographs, it’s a miracle that my parents were able to make room for the tree.

The tree apparently arrived on Christmas Eve; I say apparently because there was no tree when I went to bed to wait for Santa and when I woke up and went downstairs Christmas morning a fully decorated tree was in place.

Looking back, I realize that the late arrival of our tree was directly related to my brother’s high school job at a local nursery. It’s amazing how spectacular our trees were since they were chosen from the Christmas Eve leftovers.

My sweetheart’s family tree also arrived late Christmas Eve at their various New York apartments. Being a recent immigrant family they didn’t have extra money for such luxuries as Christmas trees, so my father-in-law would go to the closing Christmas tree stands, get two leftovers, and by drilling holes into the trunk of one of them and filling the holes with branches from the second one, construct one beautiful tree.

And I can verify that both of us remember that our families had the most perfect trees ever.
O Tannenbaum -

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.
They're green when summer days are bright;
They're green when winter snow is white...

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