When I was a little girl Christmas wouldn't come fast enough. I was so impatient about waiting for a Christmas tree. In those days it was customary to have a live tree cut, placed in a stand that had a generous bowl for water, and then decorated. Because it was cut fresh, it couldn't be in the house for very long, as it would get too dry and become a fire hazard.
Our trees were never perfect, it seemed. Sometimes Daddy would cut a scraggly native cedar tree from one of the fence lines. This only happened after much pleading for him to get one. He would drag the tree back to the house and prop it up in a snowbank for Mama to see. She never rejected a tree that he brought, however my recollection is that she was never quite satisfied. There was always a lot of trimming that happened to the trees and the trunk often was chiseled down so it would fit in the tree stand. I remember Mama spraying the tree green a time or two and also flocking it in white. It always had a bad side that got turned to the back. The cedar trees were painful to decorate as their branches were filled with tiny sharp needles.
Occasionally Daddy would purchase a cut tree at the local grocery store lot. They were always tied up or netted so you never really knew what you were getting. Those trees also got propped up in the snow bank for several days to let their branches relax into normal position. Delaying yet again the date of putting up the tree. There was always a fresh fragrance to those cut trees and sometimes a nest would be revealed while decorating, adding to the home-grown charm. The fresh cut trees required daily watering, especially in our wood-heated house that was very dry.
The decorations included lights and silver tinsel. I remember stringing popcorn or cranberries to hang on the tree and I know there was a box of glass ornaments and a few treasured items that were hung with great care. I wish I could remember some of them. I do remember making a red and green paper chain one year. Putting up the Christmas tree was always highly anticipated and I still get excited about putting up our tree.
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water; which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, Whatever he does prospers" (Psalm 1:3 NIV).