“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.”

Today is another warm day at 63Β°. Rain is predicted for late afternoon, but I don’t mind the rain. I did check the weather for the end of this week, and we’ll be in the 40’s. Even that seems warm for this time of year. I know there’s a winter out there just biding its time and waiting in the wings.

Gracie and I were out a long time yesterday running here and there to get all my errands done. Today I have nothing on the calendar. Tomorrow I have to go to Boston to a doctor’s appointment so I might just have to take it easy today with my book. I’ll try to struggle through doing nothing but turning pages.

When my dad put the Christmas lights up, we always watched. He’d check them first for dead bulbs then string them around the front bushes. The bulbs back then were huge. The inside window lights had plastic bases, and you had to twist the bulb to turn the lights on and off. I remember orange lights the most. The tree lights were always stored in some sort of tangled mess. My dad never had any patience with tree lights. Back then, if one bulb died, the whole set died. Sometimes it was two bulbs, and that was a problem almost never solved. My dad would curse his way through the set one bulb at a time replacing an old one with a new one until he’d found the problem. When he was ready, he’d put them on the tree. That’s when my mother stepped in. My dad was of the just get up and around the tree school of thought. My mother wanted a more artistic display with lights circling the tree both inside and outside the branches leaving few darks spots. She didn’t want bulbs of the same color beside each other, and my dad would have to switch a few until she was happy. The trees lights too had huge bulbs, and we used to turn the lamps off because the lights of the tree were so bright and beautiful.

I learned valuable lessons from my father. My lights are always wound a single strand at a time, and they are never tangled. I always have plenty of spare bulbs, but then again I am saved from the dead bulbs and the one at a time testing my father had to face. I use cool light bulbs, but when sets die, I replace them with LED’s. In the center of the tree I put white lights so they look like stars shining through the branches. The colored lights go inside and outside the branches the way my mother always liked her tree. I love to sit on the couch and look at my tree. It still awes me the same way it did when I was a kid.

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11 Comments on ““Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.””

  1. Zoey & Me Says:

    My Mother did the tree in evenings when we were in bed. But learning from her would have been useless because of the change in lighting strings. When our kids were ready for the Christmas event everything was tiny bulbs, fireproof, and easy to manage. They are even better today. But I miss those big bulbs and my Dad calling Mom for replacing one or two that burned out and all in a string were dead. Mom always had backup bulbs to keep the tree alive. Over the years we kids decorated some of the tree with items we made at school. I wish I had all the ones I made today. Even my train set that circled the tree was given to a nephew along the way.

    • Kat Says:

      Z&Me,
      My mother did all the correcting after we’d finished and gone to bed. She moved ornaments around to make the tree a bit more in tune. My two sisters had all their ornaments on the bottom third of the tree so they had to be moved higher.

      Decorating the tree was a huge thing for us, and we could barely wist until my father brought it home.

      I have ornaments from the tree when we were kids. My mother gave us all a box of them when she switched to a smaller tree. We each got one of the largew ornaments my mother always but toward the top of the tree away from us hoping it wouldn’t break. I put it toward the top of my tree.

      I just bought a train last year after Christmas for half price to put around my tree.

  2. olof1 Says:

    It was my mother that was the general of dressing the tree, both when it came to the light and the ornaments. We only had white lights but just the same problems when one or two broke πŸ™‚ .-) πŸ™‚ Thank God for LED’s πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    But she always placed the lights back in the box in the right order when we undressed the tree shortly after christmas so the cables never tangeled. I do the same those times I do have a tree indoors.

    Windy and rainy here todat but still fairly warm. I’m happy as long as it doesn’t snow πŸ™‚

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      My mother was the final tree checker to make sure all looked good. She was also the tinsel watcher as we had a tendancy to toss not lay on the branches.

      Later on I did the tree lights instead of my dad, and they were always put away untangled.

      Warm all day, nice day today.


  3. […] “Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 f… […]

  4. bill s. Says:

    In Bolga 1971, when Lisa was born, we had a small Charlie Brown-type acacia tree we decorated with paper ornaments. I think I took a butcher knife and went out in the field in back of the house to cut it. We still have some super-8 film of that time. Kevin’s present that year was a red and white tricycle that I bought in Bolga in one of the shops. We left it with matron’s son when we departed Bolga in 1972.

    • Kat Says:

      Bill,
      Having a real tree, even if it wasn’t fur, was a neat thing and making your own ornaments made it special. I didn’t even know they sold trikes in Bolga.

      What a lucky thing Santa found him even in Bolga! I bet the matron’s son loved it!

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    The tree was always a source of angst in our house. My father liked the lights out on the ends of the branches because he remembered Christmas trees with real candles on them which were clipped to the ends of the branches. I liked the lights inside near the trunk so the tree would seem to glow from within. My mother preferred to toss the lead tinsel onto the tree but my father wanted each strand hung individually but in groups of three. I was a tinsel tosser myself but I stayed out of that one. One of my summer jobs was making and packing lead tinsel so I’d pretty much had enough of it by Christmas time.
    The thing I remember most about Christmas trees past is that on the side nearest the television the tinsel would stick out towards the TV screen in an excess of static electric attraction. πŸ™‚
    Nowadays my tree is a small artificial one with lights and tiny toys. It comes out of the box and gets plugged in and my decorating is finished.
    I saw wasp this morning. It is a weird November.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      My mother used to attach the bulbs to the tree limbs after my father as done. I always thought they looked great. My brother and I used to roll the lead tinsel then flick it at each other. That never made my mother too happy. I have to admit that the single strands on the tree looked fantastic, like real icicles. I used them until I found one sticking out of my cat’s butt as she had eaten one (not lead by then). None of us used them after that.

      That’s funny-I’d forgotten about the strands leaning.

      I have two trees, one artifical, one real. The artificial is a scrun pine with scraggly branches. It goes into the dining room. The real one is in the living room. I love the smell of it when I come downstairs in the morning.

      The winter moths are also out.

      • Caryn Says:

        Yes, the winter moths are also out. They are all over my front lights. Bleh.

        I get a decorated wreath for the front door and some kind of piney table decoration for inside and that provides me with Yuletide aroma therapy. Well, that and a Yankee Candle in spruce. πŸ˜€

  6. katry Says:

    Caryn,
    I love Yankee candles!

    I bought a tiny rosemary tree, and the house smells wonderful!


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