Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finally--The Tree

We finally got serious about getting a tree and getting it up this weekend. We found one that looked pretty good--a field tree, not a bought tree. It gets harder to find trees in the wild because so many of the Virginia pines left on our land have grown too big to use as a Christmas tree. I would like to buy a root-balled tree again, but the prices are outrageous so that option is out. Last year we cut one on our land for the first time in a long time, and this year we cut one again. I think I'll be looking for a candidate for next year, and start trimming now to improve its shape.

This year's tree was the top of a taller tree. Can you see Larry in the photo? The tree was pretty tall, about 15 feet or so, I'd guess. We cut off the lower part and kept the top eight feet or so. Then we trimmed the branches a bit, and this is the result:

It's bigger than we usually have, but I like it. The open shape of these trees makes them easy to decorate, although it also means a few bare spots. Still, who needs perfect? A perfect tree would be out of place in this house, I think.

This tree reminds me of the trees of my childhood. Dad would go out to a friend's farm and tramp around until he found a tree that was big enough for our house. Mom and Dad liked ceiling-scrapers, which meant trees that were 12 feet tall. Usually the trees were pretty broad too, and the result was a spectacular pine that took up a good chunk of a large living room. It took about 1000 ornaments to decorate it, and those were all put on during the night of Christmas Eve.The finished tree was a sight to behold, glittering and shimmering with lights and glass balls. Mom made beaded ornaments too and those were the real highlight of the tree, with new ones added every year. I feel fortunate to have a few of those special ornaments, along with some of the vintage ornaments that graced their tree.

Last year I packed Mom's ornaments separately, along with my favorites of the glass balls. Where did I put that box? 'Tis a mystery, and one I hope we solve soon. If I could just remember where I put it, I'd be completely happy, but that box has eluded me so far. This is a small house and there are only so many places it could be. It's here...somewhere. Finding it will be tomorrow evening's task.

We got the tree up just in time for two friends to come over for dinner and gift-giving. We were moving fast to get everything done and cleaned up--the side effect of leaving it to the last minute. Now if I can just get the rest of the cards done and the gifts wrapped, I'll be in good shape. I won't be doing much baking this year--since Larry is diabetic the cookies and goodies are just too much temptation to put in his way. The fruitcake, mincemeat tarts and pumpkin pies will probably be the extent of what I make. It won't hurt me to stay away from the sweets, either!

How about you? Is your tree up? Use the linky to show us your tree.


MimiRock said...

Hi! This is the first year I've not had a tree. Too painful due to memories of Rocky and I often cutting a field tree and decorating it, huge as it was. Sometimes the Virginia pines were so skimpy we would cut 3 of them and tie them together. When he got sick I had an artificial one but didn't like it and went back to a real tree altho I would go out and buy one. Last year I used a Norway pine, but made the mistake of putting it in a planter right over the hot air register--a roasted tree is not what you want for Christmas! Additionally I won't be here between the 23rd and 29th. I'm going to Philadelphia to have Christmas with my two sons. But I do have a beautiful rosy pink poinsettia that is substituting for a tree this year. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your holidays and I wish you many, many more. Mimi

Rowan said...

It must be great to go out and cut down your own tree to decorate. Yours looks lovely. I'd post a photo of mine but I've never yet managed to take a good one of it as the lights look peculiar.I'm obviously not using the right camera setting but don't know what to try next as I've used all the obvious ones. Maybe I'll have another go today.

Mountainword said...

GSUE - I have a fake tree now - allergies. That and the last real tree I got was a disaster. There's probably still needles in the apt where I lived then.
When we were younger my brother and I would cut the Christmas trees ourselves, and since we were little, we cut down trees which to us seemed large but were in fact only a foot taller than we were. Mom said most of them looked like Charlie Brown's. Once we made the horrible mistake of cutting a Hemlock, which almost immediately dried out and shed its needles all over the place. Ah, memories...

SouthLakesMom said...

This is our first year ever with a small fake tree but it's because we're going out west to ski for the first time in 16 years. Can't WAIT!

Granny Sue, have you read the book "The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree"? It's an Appalachian story by Gloria Houston. I wish I'd thought of it before to send to Susan to read to the kids for their first WV Christmas.

Blessings to you and yours. And your tree looks PERFECT!

Granny Sue said...

I dont think I've read that, SLM. I'm going to look for it today. Thank you! and Merry Christmas!

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