Friday, December 16, 2011

O Tannenbaum

Since we're only a little over a week away from Christmas, I thought I would do a post about our Christmas tree. O Tannenbaum is a German song about a Fir or Christmas tree. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, ours isn't real. The down side is that I doubt that anyone would care to compose a song about a plastic Christmas tree. As far as I can tell, that, and maybe the fact that it doesn't have that nice evergreen scent are about the only downfalls I can think of. I don't have to worry at the start of the season about going out and finding the perfect tree, trudging through  knee deep snow, across creeks that are just over the top of your boots, and all the hard work of sawing the poor thing down. I always know where our tree is and pretty much what it's going to look like when we set it up. I never step on any sharp needles that have worked their way into the carpet, hiding in the fabric, waiting for me to walk  by with bare feet. I don't have to water it and so I don't have to worry about it suddenly turning into a torch in my living room. There's no sap on my hands after I set it up and no adjusting the tree stand-it always fits- and  I don't have to find a corner to fit the bad side in. When the kids were little we used to go out and find a tree- which was always a challenge. You would think that in a land that is filled with Spruce and Jack Pines, finding a tree would be no problem... you would think. But NOOOOOO... not in Bottsville. As I recall, everyone had a different idea of what constituted the perfect tree. It usually involved running around until we were all so cold and wet that I was ready to cry, and I finally had to have the last say in what innocent conifer was cut down. There was probably some poor family of Juncos or Wrens off visiting family and when they came to where their home was supposed to be, I was lugging it off. What a jerk! Of course everything is relative. The tree that doesn't look all that large out in the field can hardly fit through the door, much less stand up in an eight foot high living room, so even after you think the hard work is done, it isn't. Surprise! One industrious young fellow up the street decided to cut down my neighbor's Spruce.  Why waste time looking for the perfect tree when it's growing in your neighbor's yard? Surprisingly it grew back, but I must admit, it looks a little goofy now.  When I was a kid my grandmother spent a few Christmas's with us. The old saying that Christmas is for kids is true, but I think it should be expanded to include old folks too. I had a large family and we all bought presents for each other,so in the days leading up to Christmas as we lay our presents under the tree, it started looking pretty impressive- in a way that folks that subscribe to the minimalist philosophy would find obscene. I still remember Grandma sitting on the couch looking at all the gifts. It was more than she could stand and pretty soon she was leaning over picking up each one reading the names and shaking them. After a few minutes she sat back down and started talking to herself in a voice just above a whisper and I heard her say " I guess no one likes me... I didn't get anything." Of course she did get gifts, she just didn't see them at the time. It was quite comical to watch her on Christmas morning. She enjoyed opening those presents as much as my little brothers did. Grandma has long since passed away, but I still have pleasant memories of her.  I hope that all of you make pleasant memories with your family this holiday season, and if you have a real Christmas tree, keep it watered.

10 comments:

  1. That's a great picture, I like how the "flowers" turned out! Your grandma sounds funny, that's cute. I remember our house being like that, since we all used to buy for eachother it as ridiculous. But always exciting to see you guys and Jen/Liz carrying the gifts up the street from L Kanes on the sleds!

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  2. What a lovely tree, Tom! If you and Jan want a little nostalgia, fly down here to enjoy running your bare feet through our beneedled living room carpet! Sam put the lights on ours this morning, and then he and I decorated it. JIm even hung a few of his favorites, including the sock money ornamenet I gave him a couple of years ago. Does Rigby notice the tree? POlly ad Rusty ignore it now. Guess we need some kittens to spice things up, aye?

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  3. Hi Autumn- the tree turned out pretty good. Your mom wanted to try something different this year with the white lights. Usually she has pretty good tastes. I remember watching my older brother Mark pack a barbell set from his car for me on Christmas Eve once. It was well over 100 pounds- I think he almost got a hernia. The things we do at Christmas!

    Hi Jill- I think I'll pass on the needles in the feet exercize. Thanks anyway. The sock money ornament sounds interesting- you'll have to fill me in on that some time.

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  4. As always good blog dad, I remember when we used to go out w/you to get the Christmas tree. From what I remember I loved it.

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  5. HI Camille- I'm glad you enjoyed the Christmas tree experience. I still like the artificial though. I never thought I would, but as you age priorities have a way of changing.

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  6. We to have an artificial tree, we got it 4 years ago and I think it is one of the best things ever :)

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  7. We are watering the tree regularly:) I had a great time growing up with getting the tree and putting it up. I loved the lava lamps on the tree...they were fascinating. Christmas is fun still for me but I get the most joy out of giving...I love seeing others happy!!!I know I got that from you dad. Liz

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  8. Hi Liz,
    I'm glad you liked the whole Christmas experience.It is more satisfying to give- it's a blessing from above I guess. By the way, those weren't lava lamps, they were bubble lamps. We had them on my tree when I was growing up and always was fascinated by them.

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  9. Tom you want to know how crazy we are? We have 3 trees in this house. We used to have 7 but my husband refused to move them to Alaska with us.

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  10. I have a fake tree simply because there's really not many trees here in IA, and well, because of the reasons you mentioned. The last time we had a real one, Kelan and Kaiden picked it out...and I swear the poor thing had been sprayed with Round Up..it was a cedar tree...and wow it was one heck of a Charlie Brown tree..in fact it put his tree to shame...but wow were they proud of it! Now, I just use a 6 ft tree with the lights already on it...I do really like the way mom set up the tree this year..that's gorgeous! Love you.AJ

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