Our First Christmas Tree

We don’t have the tree up. We’ll do it but it takes time. Those of you who have visited know that we have a great cathedral ceiling in our living room/dining room/kitchen. A few years ago, I rashly purchased a humongous tree because I knew it would just look so pretty. It does but, I curse it.

Until 1987, we ALWAYS had a real tree. We have fond (NOT) memories of our first Christmas tree. The year was 1974 and we lived in an apartment in Richmond. We picked up Moffett’s Aunt Felicia and the three of us went tree shopping. Found two great trees, one for us and one for Felicia. Felicia and I went shopping (at Woolworth’s) for ornaments for us. I still have some of those first ornaments. We got her tree up and our tree up – and decorated. That weekend, we traveled to Front Royal, VA to visit with Moffett’s mom, grandfather and another aunt – and pick up furniture they were giving us. We drove back to Richmond on Sunday afternoon, trying to find the Redskins game on the car radio, with the car trunk tied shut to hold in the furniture (a dining room table – we were psyched – we were using a card table). When we arrived home we were a little worried. We were keeping a color! TV for a friend as our apartment complex had had some issues with burglaries. As we walked into the apartment, we both looked to make sure the TV was still there. It was – BUT – we had the deadest tree, worse, much worse than Charlie Brown’s tree, sitting/shedding in our living room. It was unreal. Brown needles piled up, ornaments on the floor. I almost cried. First we emptied the car of the furniture, then we un-decorated the tree. Then Moffett took the tree out and dragged it to a treed area near our back door. The next morning, anyone could see the path of brown needles going from our patio to the wooded area. The next night, the three of us went tree shopping again – as Felicia’s tree had done exactly the same thing.

I didn’t even take a picture of the stupid, dead tree. But believe me, it looked bad!

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10 Responses to Our First Christmas Tree

  1. A similar story, but not our “first” tree. When we moved to California in 1997, our downstairs had 25′ ceilings. I went out and bought a 20′ tree!!!! It was sooooo big, I had to keep running to Target to get more and more and more ornaments (as I like my trees overflowing with ornaments). The next day, our beautiful 20′ tree was as golden as the sun. Needles, crispy and sharp, fell to the ground upon “breathing” on it. Talk about a mess trying to get it out without making too much of a mess. I was vacuuming needles for two years!!!

  2. Meg says:

    Try having a live tree in Fla. I had won one (small) from one of the class rooms, thank heavens, because the tree my family had purchased for our home was being de-decorated on Christmas Eve. So all the presents went under the round coffee table with the little tree in the middle of the table!

  3. Mike says:

    I was going to tell the story about our tree in FLA, but as I see my sister beat me to it. My first Christmas in FLA and all I remember is Dad vacuuming up the tree on Christmas Eve!

  4. Alice says:

    Guess I’ve been lucky. We didn’t have a brown tree problem since I’d switched to fake in the late 1980’s to save the trees, but we did still use trimmings used to make front door wreaths. Our first year living in Las Vegas, the front door wreath lasted about two days, then if you touched it the needles–still sort of green–fell to the porch. When I think of it, calling a real tree that you’ve chopped from its forest LIVE is sort of like eating meat and pretending you’re not eating dead animal. 🙂

  5. Chris says:

    Coming from someone who grew up with the same artificial tree my whole life (literally), I can only somewhat appreciate the trials and tribulations of having a real tree. I do remember, however, our little artificial tree dropping more and more needles each of the 30+ years it was pulled out of its box! It was our version of a “Charlie Brown Tree” and Christmas would not have the same without it. A few years ago mom wanted to get a newer/better/fuller artificial tree…I was horrified! After much discussion, she did end up getting a new tree with the agreement that she would keep the one I grew up with safely stored in the garage. 🙂

  6. cesnh says:

    From KC (now Michigan) friends:

    Colleen…You missed your true calling! You should have been a writer! Russ and I thoroughly enjoyed your meanderings story about your first Christmas tree. I could picture the path of dead needles where it had been dragged to the woods…you have a true talent for painting a picture with words. Great job!


  7. Alice says:

    I love the socks. Would love to have a pair like that if I ever see anything near it. Maybe next year in India!

    Oh yes, love the snow too.

  8. cesnh says:

    From my friend, Louise
    I loved the story about the Christmas tree – am sure we all have a tale. I did TRY to write an answer and then lost it – gads, I’m terrible on the computer!!!!
    We had a 2 story LR and the boys decided they would take Al’s OLD Jeep out into the woods (40 acres) and cut their own tree – of course, he let them do it. They came back hours later with this huge tree – it was lovely. It was a joint family project decorating it. After a few days, I thought I was hearing a whoosh sound everytime someone went up the spiral staircase, but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from!!!! After a few MORE days I realized the whoosh was the needles falling off the tree. When it was almost bare – Al explained to the boys about the DIFFERENT types of fir trees. He was a more patient man, than I was a patient woman. The tree was undecorated and thrown out the sliding glass door – off they all went to find and be instructed about fir trees. Mom was not HAPPY. To Al, it was an instruction moment!! He LOVED it, and the boys NEVER forgot it!

  9. Betsy says:

    So funny…but as well as I remember it really wasn’t all that funny at the time. Fake trees aren’t so bad after all, huh? Can’t believe I have a fake Christmas tree and fake fire. Things change.

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