The Detective’s Daughter — The Christmas Tree

kimspolicehatKim in Baltimore with the windows open and the heat turned off!

IMG_2882There’s a problem with my Christmas tree…it’s not decorated. We’ve had a light issue this year. My dog, the wonderful Romeo, has decided there is nothing better for an afternoon snack than some tasty wire and crunchy bulbs. We’ve gone through a few strands and the type of lights I like are becoming harder and harder to find. Now I have the tree surrounded with my kitchen chairs. Hopefully, before next week I will be able to hang an ornament or two that won’t become a midnight snack for him.

The last few years we’ve had an artificial tree. I am not a fan, but due to some allergies, they’re the only type of tree allowed in the house. I miss going out in the woods and chopping the tree down with my family. Well, I didn’t actually chop it, my job was to keep hold of the children and make sure they didn’t wonder away with some other similarly dressed family. Everyone looks alike in a parka!

I remember when the kids were small and watching  A Charlie Brown Christmas, they’d ask me why Lucy wanted the fake trees. Who wouldn’t want to tromp around for miles in the bitter cold and cut down a tree and then tie it to the roof of your car praying for the forty minute ride home it wouldn’t end up in splinters on the freeway?
I think I miss our yearly tradition more than I dislike the artificial tree. No matter how cold, I looked forward to the tree cutting event each year. We would all pile in the car; kids, husband, even the dogs, and be on our way. The trip always included stopping for hot chocolate.

KimxmasGrowing up we never had a real tree. I had only seen Christmas trees like that at George Bailey’s house! Our tree was silver and sat on a table in my grandmother’s living room. There was a rotating light that changed the color of the tree from blue to red to green. For years I kept the tree in our family room until the wiring became hazardous.

Christmas trees hold more memories for me than any other holiday symbol. When I see them I can hear my mom playing her Nat King Cole Christmas album on the stereo and I think of my dad instructing us on how thin the sugar cookies should be rolled out. Of course, my favorite memories of are my own children and their delighted faces when the tree was lit or leaving the plate of cookies for Santa.

This year I’ve been milling around a small business that has recently opened. They sell cut trees and wreaths and have a tiny shop filled with handmade and antique ornaments for sale. I sit by the outdoor fire and watch the families with their small children making future memories.
Readers: What type of tree do you have for your celebration? Has it changed since you were little?