Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Countdown: Our Christmas Tree

While preparing for Christmas, I cannot help but recall the many family celebrations over the years. As I recently decorated our tree this year I reflected how Christmas trees have changed over the years.

When I was young, it seems that the trees I saw in my home and that of people we knew---were always cypress. That was what we always saw sold and what everyone had.  I even found an old family photo of one. It was taken in the early 1950s, and I was only an infant. Apparently my brother had gotten his long hoped for cowboy outfit and was thrilled to pose in front of the tree.

My brother Sam posing in front of
the cypress Christmas tree 1950s

I remember that we had a cypress tree for many years, but eventually the trees changed as the years went by.
In the 1960's like lots of folks----we also had one of those silver aluminum trees.  These has rotating wheels that would change the color of the tree as the color panel changed.  

Our Aluminum Christmas Tree

As I got older I began to voice my own opinion about Christmas trees, and we eventually moved back to green trees, thankfully.  I was also determined to see that we got some kind of pine tree rather than cypress.
So pine trees of different kinds became the standard in our house.

Pines trees became the norm over the years.

We usually placed our tree in either the Living Room or the dinning room, but always near a window. But one year, we placed the tree in between the two rooms between the sliding doors. 

Tree placed between living and dining room.

During my high school years the trees became fuller and I became the one most involved in decorating the tree. I had a ritual.  I would put on Christmas music while my my and I "fixed" the tree. And the tree went back in front of a window.

The year my brother got married, I thought it was important to also get a picture of their first Christmas tree as well.

My brother Sammy's first tree in 1972

I always got myself in the mood for Christmas by decorating the tree with Christmas Music. In this photo the old stereo can be seen and one can see the old turntable that we now used even has records on top, about to drop.

I fondly remember those years, as my grandmother came to live with us, and she would share with us her tradition of greeting everyone with the proverbial "Christmas Gif" from the days of her youth.

Grandma at Christmas 1976

The joy of course came in front of the tree as we all opened our presents.  As children we loved our toys and even the adults seemed to enjoy the thrill of opening our gifts.

My dad opening his gifts on Christmas morning

My mother opening her gifts on Christmas morning

Christmas has always had a special place in my heart.  And now, many years later, my heart is warmed by those sweet memories that my own childhood brought me, and I was comforted by those memories and felt the presence of my mom and dad and grandmother while I decorated the tree this year. 

And this year when we open presents as Christmas music plays in the background those memories will stay in my heart.

And this year, from My home to yours, have a Merry Christmas!


Ms Vicky said...

Merry christmas my friend! Thanks for making me remember, especially the aluminum tree and the colored wheel.

Trena said...

Merry Christmas :-)

Renate Yarborough Sanders said...

That was beautiful, Angela. It's great that you have so many distinct memories (along with pictures!) of the trees of your past Christmases. :) Also, I really loved the picture of your grandmother. She reminded me a lot of my own.
Merry Christmas to you and yours, also. I hope the holiday is a good one!


Greta Koehl said...

I love that you can use your pictures of Christmas trees to tell the story of your family's Christmases. Merry Christmas!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

Thank you so much Greta, and Merry Christmas to you!!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

Thanks Renate, I was going through old photos and realized how many I had of trees through the years, and decided to share them.

Merry Christmas also to you and your family.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

Trena, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas as well!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji said...

Thanks Vicky! I am glad you enjoyed the reminder of the old aluminum trees. Everybody had them at one time, back in the 60s. I wish you the best of holidays and may the search for Mariah be successful in the coming year!