Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Twenty-Five Days of Christmas: A song and a memory

So it begins, my twenty-five days of Christmas.  In years past, I have tried to capture a photo every day pertaining to Christmas.  This year, I will attempt the same...which will be interesting because I will be traveling back home and not have my handy computer.  I'm one of those weird people that actually prefers my desktop to my laptop.  But that’s a whole other topic.

I love Christmas and this time of year and not because of presents.  Yes, Santa will visit the twins and they will more than love everything they receive, I am sure.  But it's more about family and loved ones for me, remembering fond traditions and making new ones with our little family.

This weekend we put up our tree and decorations.  The twins both loved helping decorate, although Sabrina wanted to take part in every part of decorating--the lights, the beads, and everything in between.  I was finishing up some stuff yesterday and we had Christmas music playing in the background.  A song came on that instantly sent me back in time.

If there is anything that I have precious memories of when I was growing up, it was Christmas.  My family knew how to do right--and we also did it BIG.  You've seen the Christmas vacation movie, I'm sure?  Well, that was us.  Literally.  We didn't go into town and pick a tree from a lot.  Nope.  We trekked somewhere about an hour away from home and picked out a tree from a farm.  But it was never, ever small.  My parents had a large ceiling in the family room and a petite tree was never a possibility.

I remember always feeling excitement when we went to get the tree.  It was an adventure to me and loved being a part of it.  We would all bundle up in some warm clothing (it was Michigan of course, and sometimes unpredictable) and head off to the farm. 

It was always the same routine, though I wonder if my parents ever noticed that.  We would all spread out looking for that "perfect" tree, though it was usually my mom who had the final say so.  We would find one and walk all around it for inspection.  At one point my dad would tell my mother that this tree was way too big and it would never fit into our family room.  She would disagree and convince him to get the tree.  And so he did.

This one year in particular we had a whopper of a tree.  There were no words to describe it.  It wasn't just tall, it was WIDE.  We didn't realize how wide until we tried to bring it in the front door.
It didn't fit.  Literally, it was stuck within the door.  Now, you just need to get a visual here.  Imagine more than half of the tree hanging outside the front of the door.  And we couldn't really push it back out because some of the branches could fall off--plus there was just no where else to bring this tree in.  We certainly couldn’t return it either.

So, we brainstormed.  What my dad (and my brother, I think) came up with was pulling my dad's huge work truck around the house by the back door, putting a rope around the hitch of the truck and then attaching the other end of the rope to the tree.  Are you with me yet?

Then, driving the truck (slowly) a few feet to just get that darn tree in.  They did.

The rope broke.

Seriously.  Even now, when I think of this memory I laugh out loud.  How did we ever think we would get that tree in the front door?

More brainstorming.

A cable.  A cable can't break!  Wait…can it?  Now I’m not so sure…

So a cable was attached between the hitch and the tree....and slowly, very slowly, the truck was pulled forward and finally, the tree was in and the cable didn’t break!  I could hear the tree squeezing against the door and I swear the door was going to break from the pressure.

The rest of the night consisted of actually getting the tree up--which included wrapping a rope around the base and discreetly tying it around a beam so the tree wouldn't fall over.  And forget a regular tree stand.  Nope, we used a five gallon bucket to water that beauty.

And if memory serves, my mom never did admit that tree was too big.

The song I heard the other day that made me go back in time, was Charlie Pride's "Christmas in my Hometown".  We always had Charlie Pride on while we decorated the tree.  So I stood there and listened to the song and let my head take me back.  While the song was on I looked at my children, happily decorating, dancing, and smiling.  They were loving every second of it. 

I smiled at them.

I smiled at my memories. 

I thought about my mom.  She surely wouldn’t think this tree was big enough, I thought as I laughed to myself. 

But that’s okay.  It’s the memories that count, right?



  1. We just watched the last hour of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation last night. LOL!

    LOVE your tree story. And in today's photo, it wasn't the height of your tree that caught my eye. But oh. my. goodness. Sabrina looks SO TALL!

  2. Thanks Jill! She doesn't seem so tall to me but that might have something to do with seeing her everyday! ;)

    I was bummed though because I am behind on my Christmas shots and this was pretty much the only one that I could use!

  3. Do you still have the video of the tree fiasco? I still crack up thinking about it. And I'm so lucky that I got to see your awesome trees in all their glory. They are part of my favorite memories, too :)

  4. Yes! I do have the tapes! We were actually wanting to get a converter to switch them over.
    I'm glad you have the memories too!