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Christmas Tree Memories

Christmas Tree Memories

One of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree with Christmas ornaments and Christmas lights. The trimming of the tree occurs usually the day after Thanksgiving. I never tire of watching the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree.

I prefer an artificial Christmas tree rather than a real one. I cannot reconcile killing a real Christmas tree just to use for a few weeks. We drag the old battered box of Christmas ornaments down from the attic. As I am putting the limbs of the Christmas tree together and fluffing the branches, Christmas songs are playing quietly in the background. Once the Christmas tree is set up, I bring out the storage container with the Christmas lights in it and begin to check for burnt fuses. I pull all burnt bulbs and replace them and string the Christmas lights together. They work fine. I unplug them and begin to string them around the Christmas tree one strand at a time. So I don't get the Christmas lights all tangled up as I put them on the Christmas tree, I begin at the bottom, on the inside of the Christmas tree. I gradually wind my way to the front of the Christmas tree, and then move up to the next level and repeat until the Christmas lights are wound to the top.

I plug the Christmas lights into the power outlet and it is always such a wonderful feeling when the Christmas tree lights up with the twinkling Christmas lights. The Christmas tree appears to glow from within.

Next, I find the plastic container with all the Christmas ornaments. Placing the Christmas ornaments so that they shine takes a little time. Song after song streams through from the stereo, and in no time the Christmas ornaments are on the tree and the Christmas tree is finished.

I live out in the country. One Christmas in particular, there was a really heavy storm over Christmas. The ice and snow caused some power lines to come down, and we were without electricity. Thankfully, we had a wood stove with plenty of dry wood inside so I was not worried about keeping warm. The grandchildren were a little nervous with the wind howling outside.

I had bought several extra bags of cranberries and had plenty of extra fruit. I thought that maybe if we made stringers of cranberries, apples and oranges for the birds that that might take the children's minds off the weather. I lit several coal oil lamps and gathered the materials together for our project. We sang Jingle Bells and had a contest to see who could sing the loudest. We sat in front of the Christmas tree, and winners of the singing contest were rewarded with hot cocoa. Sitting in front of the Christmas tree without its twinkling Christmas lights because of the power cut, we strung cranberries, apples slices and orange slices on long pieces of thread with my needlepoint needles. The room smelled of chocolate, orange, apples and of the hickory we were burning in the wood stove. Our fingers were stiff with juices from the fruits. By the time we'd finished, the grandchildren were full of hot cocoa and marshmallows were laughing and singing Christmas carols in front of the Christmas tree.

The blizzard roared outside as we rejoiced. To this day when I smell hickory smoke I think of that Christmas night and the Christmas tree, the flickering coal oil lamps, and the smell of chocolate, oranges and apples, and I can almost hear the singing of the Christmas carols while we made garlands for the birds in front of the Christmas tree.




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