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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree! Happy Christmas Memory.

      To me the Christmas tree, more than any other Christmas tradition has become to represent the very essence of the season.   A few years ago, about 2009 I wrote about the following Christmas tree memory. 
Icicles of the past!  I still have the 'story book '
doll my mother is putting under the tree. abt 1950.
     Even selecting the family Christmas Tree is different than what I remember as a young  girl.  This year Earl and I selected the first tree we saw, fresh to the touch, just the height we wanted, beautifully proportioned and the price was right.  The salesperson took an electric saw and made a fresh cut of the trunk then it was put through a cylinder that covered it with plastic netting.  Tied to the top of the car for the ride home my thoughts were of Christmas many years ago while living in a small town of Jerome, Idaho.  
     My first visual image of the most beautiful Christmas Tree in the world was when I was about five years old.  It was from a Coca-Cola commercial before the movie started at our local Voris movie theater.  This was the same advertisement for Coca-Cola every year, not in color film but, in black and white.  I would sit watching with excitement seeing a jolly round Santa holding the Coke bottle but my attention was on the brilliant, bright, dazzling Christmas Tree in the background.  It was decorated with the big lights (The ones you see as decoration on the outside of the house today,) long sparkling tinsel that went around and around from the top to the base of the tall tree, breathtaking round ball ornaments and gleaming long heavy icicles on every twig.  It was a tree my mother tried to emulate in our small modest home. 
     When I would go with Mom and Dad to find the perfect tree it was exhausting.  We would go from tree lot to tree lot but the choices of finding the symmetrical was non-existent.  Dad would grow tired and Mother would be frustrated with the choices.  One year when I was about nine or ten years old Mother sent just the two of us to buy the tree.  "Vern, you know what to look for, so take Renee, I'm busy getting the baking done."  Dad and I thought we did a pretty good job picking out our tree but, when Mother came outside to make the final approval of the tree, she was disappointed and burst into tears, "that's the best you can do?"  Dad calmly replied, "You know Verona, I will fix it to look better."  With that said, Dad would go to his tool chest and get his hand saw and hand drill.  He would saw branches off the bottom the the tree then drill a hole in the trunk of the tree where it visibly needed another branch.  He would would then carefully fit the sawed off branch into the hole.  He would do this in several spots, wherever Mother thought it needed an added branch.  Then Dad would put the tree on a box that had been wrapped in Christmas paper.  That made it easier to put the presents underneath the tree.  Dad would put on the big herky jeweled colored lights then the sparkling tinsel, next the breathtaking round ball ornaments, then Mother would spend what seemed to me hours putting on the gleaming long heavy icicles, many strands to a branch very straight and organized.  To me it was beautiful.  This is still my memory of the most beautiful tree, as a child waiting for Christmas Day. 
Taken at Aunt Louise and Grandmother's home.
About 1950

     This picture is of all the family I ever knew on my father's side.  Cousin Ardyth, Aunt Louise, cousin Lee, Grandmother Ethel Hepworth Tomlinson and my self. Only Ardyth and myself are still living today. 

     This is the year (abt 1951) I got a new Schwinn bike!
Dad was principal of Jerome Jr. High and earned a very, very modest salary.  During holiday seasons, Christmas and Easter on Saturday's and school vacation he worked in the men's clothing department called Tingwalls Department Store in Jerome.   This was extra cash for Christmas and always a new Easter outfit.  I can't think of anything I asked for that I didn't get at Christmas time.  I hope I expressed my gratitude for all they did for me.  
      Today, I have added another favorite tree symbol;  The Family Tree!
Merry Christmas to All!  

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