Sherri Lupton Hollister

Oh, Christmas Tree

We always had an artificial tree, although dad did insist it be green. His parents’ Christmas tree always looked as if it was made of tin foil. It could also double as an antennae for the television if you set it close enough. When I was able, I was determined to have a real tree. My first real tree was a Charlie Brown pine tree in a coffee can. I dug it up myself and put it in my bedroom. It was pitiful but I loved it. My husband and I often had real trees. He and the boys would go into the woods and chop down a tree or we’d buy one from the grocery store. I love decorating the Christmas tree but over the years I’ve had to do it alone, my husband isn’t interested. He’ll put the tree together, we’ve reverted to the manmade deal and he’ll string the lights. My dad always strung the lights, that was his one contribution to decorating for Christmas. Mom and I decorated until I was older and the whole thing became my job. My sons never got into the decorating the tree spirit. They’d help some but usually, I decorated on my own. This year, my oldest grandson helped me decorate and it was so much fun. We laughed and joked and made up a cool Christmas story. Usually I put on a Christmas movie and watch it while I decorate.
When I was a kid, we never had a set day to put up the tree. It was only after mom got tired of me begging that she’d allow me to pull everything out. It was never before December first and rarely the first week of December, usually it was about two weeks before Christmas that she’d finally relent and I was allowed to put up the tree. After my own kids came along, my oldest son begged me not to put the tree until after his birthday, so we waited until after the first week of December. Now, I put it up whenever I want.
I like to do themed holiday decorations. This is a tradition my mother-in-law started me doing. She has a different themed tree each year. She loves Christmas and decorating. One year I made native American ornaments. I researched many tribes and did Kachina dolls and fetishes for each of the larger tribes, with a native American angel I made for the top of the tree. I decorated with wildlife ornaments, pine cones and gumballs, and pewter charms I’d found with native drawings. I loved those ornaments, that was one of my favorite trees.

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