Thursday, December 4, 2014

TBT - Oh Christmas Tree

A rare photo of Mom decorating the tree.  It's rare because Santa decorated our tree.

I have no idea how Santa survived our family.  Not only did he deliver gifts but he also decorated our tree.  The week before Christmas, our family would pile into the station wagon, candy canes in hand, and go in search of the perfect tree to chop down.  We never went to tree farms, we traipsed into the wild in search of the perfect tree.  Some years we cut it down & strapped it to the top of the car right away & some years we tied a ribbon to it & Dad went back later to chop it down.  I never gave it any thought as a child, but when I think back on it, I sure do hope that some stranger didn't wake one morning to find that their prized tree had been removed from their yard.

Anyway, we'd commandeer our tree & bring it into the house on Christmas Eve Eve morning.  It would thaw out during the day while Mom did her last minute baking & gift wrapping.  That night, Mom would put the lights on the tree while Dad sat in the rocking chair supervising & I jumped up & down in excitement.  Christmas Eve morning was always exciting because by then, we'd know what kind of nests had been hiding in our tree.  There was more than one morning when we came downstairs to find our living room covered, and I mean COVERED! with baby spiders or strange bugs that had hatched overnight due to the warmth of our house.

Mom would spend Christmas Eve day doing more baking & cooking while Dad killed the bugs, polished the brass & sharpened the knives.  Don't ask me why he picked Christmas Eve to polish the brass andirons in the fireplace & sharpen all the knives, but he did.  It was an Owen Christmas tradition.  Meanwhile, I jumped up & down some more in anticipation of Santa & my sister and I "gloated."  Gloating was always so much fun & we tended to ask for long items rather than things that we actually wanted just so we could win the gloating contest.  So, what's gloating, you ask?  Gloating is laying your gifts out on the floor, end to end & seeing who has the longest pile.  It was great fun and one of my favorite things about Christmas.  I'm not sure what that says about me but....

After Christmas Eve dinner at my grandparents' house, we'd come home, open one gift (always a book.  We knew who gave us books each year & my sister & I would read ourselves to sleep that night.)  Later, after my sister & I had finally read ourselves to sleep, Santa would come.  He not only left gifts under the tree for us but he had to put our doll houses & bikes together AND decorate our tree. And we had a LOT of decorations!  Our tree was always the gaudiest thing you've ever seen, but we loved it!  Santa definitely earned some love & respect in our household because there were plenty of 5:00 a.m.'s that rolled around when my sister & I would wake up & find Mom & Dad in the bathroom brushing their teeth.  We always thought they'd gotten up before us, but I have the feeling we were wrong.

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