Re: It's coming on Christmas They're cutting down trees

12/20/16 - posted by W.M.

Great idea PJ. Memories of Christmas/Holidays in the OutsideLands are well represented in past years on the message board, but sometimes good stories are worth repeating. Besides, there is bound to be one or two new details to surface, I'll try anyway.

As early as I can remember, the tradition of my family's Christmas observances began around December 1st. This would be when Mom started "digging out" the Christmas cards received from the year before so she had an idea of how many were needed to buy on our next visit to the K & E five-and-dime store on Taraval & 32nd Ave (usually the next day). Then for the next week or so, she tirelessly filled out the HUNDREDS of Christmas cards to mail to relatives and friends located all over the country as well as in The City. Generally she began sending one of us (kids) to the nearest mailbox on the corner of 27th & Quintara to mail each day's pile beginning with those who live the farthest away - east coast, Midwest, etc. By the way, it is worth mentioning that the 27th & Quintara corner housed not only the big blue-bottom-red-top mailbox, but also the big green mail-carrier box that held the sorted mail to deliver to the houses around our square block (27th Ave south to Rivera, west to 28th Ave, north to Quintara, east to 27th Ave again), and the red fire alarm box mounted on a power/light pole.

About December 10 - 12th, we shopped for our Christmas tree at either one of the two nursery lots we always went to. One was A-1 Nursery (I believe was the name) across from the K & E on Taraval, and the other was on the SW corner of 19th Ave & Quintara. Mom was very picky as to the type of tree she wanted as her preference was short pine needles as opposed to longer ones. It also was desired to be between 5 1/2 - 6 ft tall. Once the perfect tree was found, she ordered it to be flocked (white) and if memory serves me correctly, these locations offered delivery service back then and December 15th was our date we always put it up in our living room, and to begin decorating it. I forgot to mention that on our shopping day at the K & E for cards, a half-dozen or more boxes of the silver lead tinsel was also bought, as were name-tags for identifying the "To and From" on each of the Chrismas presents.

To be continued...

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