Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Christmas Tree - Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories

A snapshot of my parents' first Christmas tree in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1946. This is inside their 'little house' on 41st Avenue.

December 1 - The Christmas Tree

I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. When I was young (yes, long ago, children), we always had a real tree – I don’t remember anyone with an artificial tree at home. Our family was different from my friends though – my dad always went out Christmas Eve, with or without my brother and I, to find a tree.
Now I don’t know if this was because it was too busy earlier (my parents owned a business) or because trees were sure to be cheap Christmas Eve. Sometimes it must have been hard to even find a tree for sale in the city at that late date. My brother has some stories, I’m sure. (I remember Christmas tree lots on street corners hosted by groups like the Boy Scouts. Nowadays, you can get a tree at the grocery store, although there are still a few people and groups selling trees in parking lots.)

At any rate, finding a tree Christmas Eve became our ‘family tradition’ as was decorating the tree on Christmas Eve and eating ham soup and sandwiches for dinner. It was always a full size tree, but not always the best looking one! We always got to open one present when we were all ready for bed Christmas Eve too – mine was almost always a doll.

I might have kept up that late tree tradition myself, but I met a fellow from a Swedish family. Their big family dinner was on Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day, so there could have been a conflict there. When I ‘moved out’ of my parents’ home though, I had started celebrating the Winter Solstice as well as Christmas, so pretty quickly, we started decorating our own tree Solstice night instead of Christmas Eve. This I still do. And, I think my children might continue my take on this ‘family tradition’, as it’s always included an early present for them and lots of Christmas dinners!

For Christmas tree stories from other bloggers, go to:
and click on the December 1 ornament.

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