Re: It's coming on Christmas They're cutting down trees12/21/16
posted by Frank Dunnigan
Our family seems to have loved many different styles of Christmas trees over the years. Both sets of grandparents favored very tall fresh green trees, with old-fashioned multi-color lights and large quantities of real lead tinsel, lovingly applied, strand by strand. Later, my parents always had a fresh tree, flocked in white. By the time I was a toddler, though, that idea was out the window, since the flocking was being dragged all over the house. We then had an artificial white tree for years, sometimes with a variety of ornaments and sometimes with a theme—all pink and aqua ornaments one year in the late 1950s, all red and green another time—plus two spotlights on the floor--but no tinsel. The aluminum tree made a single appearance in 1959, but then it was back to that fake white one with tiny clear lights added and the mixture of ornaments accumulated over the years, including the pinecones that I made in Mrs. Beckerman’s Kindergarten class at Parkside School in 1957. When I was in high school, my parents switched to an enormous 8-foot realistic green artificial tree—though it contained hundreds of individual branches that had to be sorted by size and then inserted by hand (my job), and decorated with clear lights and gold ornaments—whew! For the last decade of Mom’s long life, she graciously agreed to a 3-foot live green tree, set atop a table in the window, still with tiny clear lights and a variety of ornaments. Once I was living on my own in the mid-1970s, I started with a 4-foot real tree, multi-color lights twinkling lights, and a variety of ornaments acquired at day-after-Christmas sales during a long career in the retail industry. I tried tinsel once before realizing that my grandparents were all retired and had the patience to install the stuff strand-by-strand--no more tinsel for me! During a particularly rainy winter, circa 1984, I switched to a pretty nice 7-foot green artificial tree that served me well for decades. For the last 10 years or so, I’ve had a 7-foot pop-up green tree, pre-wired with clear lights, to which I then add ornaments until either I’m exhausted or the tree begins to lean more than the Millennial Tower.