Advent Calendar for Geneabloggers: The Christmas Tree

Christmastime has always been important in our family. As my children were growing we started some traditions. I had traditions as I grew up. Over the next few weeks I will share some of these as part of the days leading up to Christmas. I know that both the immediate and extended family will remember some of these things. I wonder what they will be saying about my Christmas trees over the years?

For Geneabloggers, the December 1st topic is the Christmas Tree. This is a perfect topic for my family.

Growing up we always had to have perfect trees. Mainly this was my Mother, but my Father was no slouch in that department. We looked and looked for the tree. Many years it was at a tree lot at Snelling and St. Clair avenues in St. Paul — at the edge of the Macalester College campus. If the tree wasn’t perfect in all ways, we had to get extra boughs to fill in the blank spots. My family members will laugh if they recall Mom sitting on the couch directing the way the tree was put into the stand, where the extra boughs were put in a hole drilled by my Dad. Then the ornaments. We did have some beautifull glass ones. We were allowed to hang most of them, but Mom had to supervise so they were in the right place. Then the lights and tinsel. They had to be placed perfectly and each strand of tinsel had to be smoothed flat with your fingers. The picture above is from 1957. Pay attention to the Santa in the upper left hand corner — you will hear about it later.

The result? A wonderful looking tree that could be seen through the three huge windows of the yellow rambler at the corners of Bowdoin and Magoffin streets in St. Paul as you see in the picture above. As they got older, Mom and Dad did get an artificial tree but it was never “undecorated.” It was simply wrapped up and carried down to the basement intact. I should be honest — we did have an earlier fake tree. Really fake. Aluminum. It was the tree relegated to the basement. Ugly as all get out. Why did we have that? I have no idea. The picture of the aluminum tree is from 1962.

© 2009 – 2014, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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