Sunday, November 30, 2008

Getting a Christmas Tree, South Texas Style



When I was a kid my family never had a real Christmas tree. For whatever reason we always had a fake tree. Do not get me wrong, it was still a big deal, to get it out and decorate it, make the paper chains and put on a popcorn and cranberry chain.

When I got married however, I insisted on getting a real Christmas tree, which was fine with my husband since that is what he grew up doing. There is just something about the smell of a real Christmas tree. (I won't bore you with the details of how I ruined our first vacuum cleaner by assuming the needles could easily be swept up. Let's just say I was wrong.)

In Iowa where we lived after we were first married, we went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree.

In the Bronx we bought a tree from one of the corner lots selling them. Another year we lived in the Bronx, we brought a tree home from Vermont after we had gone skiing. I can't help but rabbit trail for a minute as I remember that trip and tree because of a speeding ticket my husband got in Vermont. It was absolutely crazy. We were driving a Subaru wagon loaded down with skies on top, suitcases inside, our son who was 5 months old at the time and a huge Christmas tree tied to the top of the Subaru. We were not a vision of speed. Yet we were pulled over. I am still convinced it was because of our NY license plates, but that is another story.

When we moved to Ohio we began again the tradition of chopping down our tree at a nearby Christmas farm. It always seemed like it was the coldest day of the year on whatever day we went to get our tree, which is partly why I don't have too many pictures documenting our tree excursions. That and the fact that up until this past summer I have been horrible about taking pictures. It just was not a habit of mine. It would be difficult to get the kids in the same picture or I'd forget our camera completely. It's not just me, my husband is just as bad as I am. My dear friend Yvonne had to take pictures of our son's 7th birthday party last year with her phone and email them to me because we did not bring any kind of camera to the party.

Anyway, moving to Texas has been a big adjustment, particularly around the holidays. For us it means buying a real tree from a corner lot in town, while we are wearing shorts, unless of course we wanted to drive 14 hours to New Mexico. My mind still can't reconcile hearing songs like, "White Christmas" and "The Christmas Song" with the fact that it will be warm and no snow. In fact, on Friday night when we got our tree it was 77 degrees out.

I am looking forward to experiencing some winter weather when we head to Iowa for Christmas. Until then the only cold or snow I am going to experience is in my dreams, or maybe at HEB grocery since I think their thermostat must be set at 42 degrees.

What about you? Real or fake or no Christmas tree? Let me know!

Take care,

Julie

5 comments:

Bubba's Sis said...

We have a real tree AND a fake tree this year! In the early years of our marriage we always had real trees, and I still love them best, but Hubby was tired of spending the money every year so we invested in an artificial tree several years ago. I do like it - it is pre-lit and easy to put up - but it's beginning to show its age. We've got it looking gorgeous again this year, but we also bought a cheap real tree and put it outside on the deck - it looks beautiful, too, and I love the smell! When the fake tree bites the dust (which may be Dec. 26, 2008) I think we'll go back to getting real ones.

Suzie said...

Im not a Christian so we have no tree. Have a good xmas and a good tree

Kristin said...

REAL - and we cut ours down too. i remember our days in florida though - very expensive Small trees. and yes, in shorts as well. it's a bit different in the southern warmer climates.
we got ours this past weekend and have it up and decorated - now to keep maggie out of it : )

D... said...

I'm with you. It's hard to feel like Christmas when you have shorts on. I miss the Christmas' of old when we were all bundled up with a chance of snow. Sigh.

We have always had real trees up to a couple of years ago. The kids have a hard time decorating them. I think they might be allergic to the needles (I too thought they would be easy to vacuum up).

I love real trees but I'm content & happy with a fake one. I am hard of smelling so that doesn't bother me. And when you have as many ornaments as we do, you can't tell a difference!

Sam said...

I am not a Christian, but i like decorate christmas tree. This is very beautiful...so nice. Have a good christmas day. Thanks so much for sharing.