Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Calendar - December 1, The Christmas Tree

December 1 – The Christmas Tree
Did you have a real tree or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree? What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?

We usually had an artificial tree, although I seem to remember having a real tree on more than one occasion.  They were all about 5-6 feet tall, since our house was small and had fairly low ceilings.  We all decorated as a family.  Decorations consisted of numerous glass ball ornaments (fewer each year, as one or more would inadvertently get broken over the season), other miscellaneous ornaments, garland (usually tinselly or other sparkly material, not the pine-looking stuff), and lights.  We sometimes had strings of popcorn, but not every year.

When I was young, the strings of lights had the larger, hot incandescent bulbs that you had to be careful not to touch after they'd been on any length of time.  Later, it became the smaller incandescent bulbs that were cooler, but if one blew out, the whole string died and you had to hunt for which one was dead by replacing one bulb at a time until the string lit up again.

The only ancestors I recall spending Christmas with were my paternal grandparents, Estel and Alta Dillman.  We went to their house in Yankton, South Dakota.  I don't recall for sure if their tree was real or artificial, but my memory says "real".  I don't have any idea what other ancestors did for their decorations.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman