09 December 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Remembering Christmas Trees Past

“O Christmas tree.  O Christmas tree.”  How long have you been torturing me?

I’m not a “Bah, humbug” kinda person during the holidays, but in my humble experience Christmas trees can be a royal pain in the rear.  I love bringing the ornaments down from the attic, unwrapping them all and hanging each gently on the tree.  I’ve got ornaments from when my boys were little, when I was little, when my mom was little.. even a few from my grandfather’s childhood.  Each memory is cherished as I hang them on the tree.  (Note:  Popcorn strands don’t last through the years – what the mice don’t eat gets smooshed)  It doesn’t help that I prefer live trees.  Some branches are thick, others thin determining what hangs where... The dogs like to drink out of the tree basin.  The cats like to climb up the tree, after drinking their fill too...

This year I proclaimed “Uncle.”  I’m taking a year off.  

Then my aunt saved me.  

Digging through stuff in the attic, I found the tree she got us for Christmas last year.  I’m a Peanuts fan, and yes, it’s a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  We love it!!!  It plays Schroeder’s music, has Linus’ blanket as a tree skirt and one little Christmas tree bulb.  It’s -beautiful-!!!

I sit and look at our lil’ tree and remember trees’ past.

Rule 1 with real trees – cut them, then leave them out all night so that the ‘residents’ could vacate before bringing it in the house.  Tree residents being spiders, ticks, aunts, creepy-crawly-stuff-you-don’t-want-in-the-house.

The one that commands my memory right now was a very special tree.  Remember, I prefer live trees and didn’t just cut them down for myself.  I also cut one for my neighbor each year.

My boys were at the neighbors house quite often.  Christmas was not exception. My neighbor had a screen front porch door, and as little boys ruled the roost, it wasn’t unusual to hear the front door open and -slam- closed over the course of an evening.  They were all trained to walk past one, two, three.. bathrooms before going outside - to pee on a tree.

Thus the reason her tree will be forever remembered as the “Piss-mas Tree!”

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and may your Piss-mas Tree -SPARKLE-!!! 

- Bess Tuggle 

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