This is also one of my daughter’s and son-in law’s favorite times of the year. They remarked more than once during their visit here at Thanksgiving how they needed to be sure and get home in plenty of time to get their Christmas tree before the Auburn/Alabama game. Both of them prefer the live tree over the artificial tree because they love the pine smell. I can certainly understand that. I know when number one was small, we always had a live tree, and she would comment how good it made the apartment smell. It may require a little more attention than the artificial variety, but I am convinced it is worth the trouble.
It was fun helping them decorate their house and tree after the ball game on Saturday. They have so many different kinds of ornaments that it really loads the tree down, even a big one like they have this year. Of course number one grandson was just as big as the rest of us and had to do his part in helping decorate. He was allowed to put some small ornaments and unbreakable Christmas balls on the lower branches. The only guidance he needed was to be sure he didn’t put everything on the same branch. But he had a great time in being such a big help.
I was reminded of the many, many years I would be responsible for getting our tree and decorations up while still living at home. My parents always liked to decorate and would normally start saying something about the first week of December that we need to be looking for a Christmas tree and getting the decorations out of the garage or from up in the attic. In addition to the inside decorations we would also put up outside decorations. I remember my first outside decorations were two lighted candles that sat on each side of the front door offering a warm welcome to our holiday visitors.
The next year I added a lighted Santa that I anchored on the roof on the porch, so it looked like Santa was getting ready to come down the chimney. And as the years passed I continued to do just a little more outside decorating. I put lights and garland around the front windows of our house and along the bannisters of the front and side porches. I put a lighted toy soldier on each side of our front steps and wrapped our two small evergreen bushes along the front porch with lights. Then there was always the question each year of whether we wanted lights that blinked or stayed on all the time and if we wanted different colored lights or all the same color. I believe my favorites were all white lights that stayed on all the time. But I believe my parents liked the reds, blues, greens, yellows and whites that blinked. So one year we would do it one way and the next year the other.
I still have the toy soldiers, or I should say my daughter and her family have them. And they still work. The colors may be fading a little but they are still in very good condition. It’s nice knowing that they are still bringing pleasure to our family, even though they are well over 35 years old.
And when it comes to Christmas, some things just never go out of style. They just get better and better with each passing year as they bring back memories of by-gone days.
Jerome Wassmann is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle.