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!