Putting up the Christmas tree was a special event each year. We always put it up about 10 -14 day before Christmas and was taken down on New Year’s Day. Some of my favorite memories are from the early 1960’s when I was in elementary school.
Growing up in the country we had many neighbors with farm and pasture land in Kansas. The farmer’s didn’t look too fondly on the cedar trees and were very agreeable to let us find our perfect tree on their property [almost pleading with us to take as many as we wanted]. They usually asked that we chop down another tree so they could decrease the number of cedar trees.
Saturday morning would bring about lots of excitement about picking out the best tree we could find. I am the eldest of 6, which guaranteed I’d get to go with dad, along with my sister, Sandy, who was 18 months younger. I don’t remember exactly, but we had to be at least 6 or 7 years old before we could go. After all, we were going trekking through pastures of snow all day (or so I thought).
Mom would get us bundled up, and our snow boots on, dad would sharpen the axe and the kids climbed, excited and giggling with glee into dad’s truck and off we would go.
Each time we found the perfect tree, we’d look around and find another one that was even bigger and better. I’m sure dad had to eventually choose the perfect tree. Dad would have us each hold a branch on each side of the tree, so we could ‘help’ chop it down. Then dad would grab the trunk of the tree and we would help drag it back to the truck.
Returning home, my sister and I would run into the house to announce we found the best tree ever. Mom fixed us hot chocolate and we could hardly wait to decorate – but that came after lunch.
Dad put the lights on the tree and then turned the decorating over to mom. Once the decorations were on, we put the tinsel went on – “One strand at a time,” mom would say. Then the Christmas tree top was put in place.
The lights were turned on and we all admired the most beautiful tree we ever had.