Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stories... Oh Christmas Tree


A trip down memory lane. :)

Everybody makes such a big deal about getting a REAL Christmas tree. This wasn't the case for me growing up.

After Mom and Dad divorced, it was too difficult for my mother and me to get a real Christmas tree. One year, during Christmas time, we go to K-Mart, maybe Wal-Mart, to buy our fake tree. This is a whole new concept to me. A fake tre? They make those? Being around 6 or 7 years old, a "fake tree" is such a new concept! In fact, it is so new to me, I'm excited about this fake tree! I'm up for the challenge!

We get home, and together Mom and I tackle this tree. Bit by bit, we sort out the colors of each layer, spreading them across the entire living room, careful not to step on those little fake pine needles. I quickly discover they hurt just as much as real pine needles! Each tree branch has it's own system: left, right, down, up. Left, right, down, up. Left, right, down, up. Branch my branch, layer by layer, the tree slowly comes together. At this point, I'm so little I need a step sool to help form the top of the tree. Once it is all done, we finally get to decorate! Mom lets ME do this, ALL BY MYSELF! How exciting!

Every year, we pull out the same fake tree, spread out the layers in the living room, and together make individual branches into a tree. Left, right, down, up. Left right, down, up. Next layer! Left, right, down, up! I notice that every year, the stool doesn't need to be so high. This became my favorite thing abuout putting together our fake tree. I see how much closer I am to the top of the tree and think, "Wow, I've grown so much."

I never realize how much this tradition means to me until my parents remarried when I was 14, and go buy a REAL Christmas tree. How cnan they buy a real tree?! How will I see how much I have grown this year? What happened to Mom and me getting to put our tree together. What happened to left, right, down, up? It feels like the end of an era.

Naturally, time moves on, and I adjust more to the real tree, although it never feels quite the same as the fake tree. I never could have guessed how meaning a fake tree has.

The first year I lived in my own apartment at 20 years old, I go to Wal Mart to buy a fake tree. I I take it back to my studio apartment, sort it by color on my floor, and layer by layer: left, right, down, and up, until it is finally a tree again! This time, I can reach the top of the tree... all by myself! Once done, I step back and just absorb my beautifulFAKE, Christmas tree, soaking in the Christmas spirit!

10 comments:

Chris said...

This was a delightful story - hope you continue writing these! It's funny that you prefer the fake tree, We were first forced to buy one while overseas with the military. Of course, I've become spoiled by the lack of mess from dry needles all over the place, but as my children grew and got married, they bought real trees and I don't see them changing soon!
Chris

Mardi said...

What a beautiful memory. I love the "real" ones. Santa would bring our Christmas tree, how fun! Then one year he brought one of those silver ones and this is the tree we used, which seems like forever.

Jana said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story. It is fabulous. I am also in Stories in Hand (it's where I got your blog addy)
See you soon...
Jana D

Joshua, Lori, and Mikey. said...

It's cool to hear other points of view and stories! Thanks for writing that. Growing up we had the same fake tree every year. Every year I begged for a real tree. Every year my parents said no. (ha ha) Now that I'm married and out of their house, I understand why they didn't want one and have been enjoying my fake, pre-lit tree.

Momma E said...

lol! Cute story - I've always loved the fake trees too. We always had the same huge one and it was fun putting it together. :)

SusanD said...

Beautiful story! I am in the SIH class.

curicogirl said...

I love your story!!!! as you mentioned... who would have thought that a fake tree would create so much meaning! Thank you so much for sharing. Now off to write mine!!!

Gladie said...

You are a great storyteller! Thanks for sharing :) I have a fake tree too, simpler and not as loved as yours, but still a part of my life that has its story to be told. Thanks for the idea! :)

Angela2932 said...

Great job on the journaling! I'm another SIH buddy!

delane said...

Great story! We always had a real tree growing up, but now I have a fake one. No more messy needles and remembering to water it!