Senior Resources » A Boomer’s Christmas Tree Memory

A Boomer’s Christmas Tree Memory

Today, I was blessed to share a story about one of my Christmas trees with a young lady.  While there have been many trees in my years, one from my childhood will always stand out in my mind.

Christmas tree with lights and ornaments.

My daddy dug up a very small tree in the country and brought it home. After filling an old old tin coffee can with soil, he planted the tree in it. Not to be outdone, my mother fashioned an old white sheet for the skirt. Then we popped popcorn in a skillet. Yes, I did say skillet—not a bag or popcorn maker.

Christmas tree with golden pine cones and stars.

Popcorn can make a beautiful holiday decoration, and changing the color is easy. All you need is a little ingenuity and a lot of food coloring. After the popcorn cooled, my mother strung it together using a sewing needle and thread. Together, we wrapped that beautifully colored popcorn garland around the tree.  I made a paper angel and attached it to the top.  We painted a few pine cones we found in the backyard and hung them on the tree with safety pins. My daddy was fearful of house fires, so he attached one string of lights that he allowed us to turn on briefly. Only one string of lights, but oh—did it make our beautiful little tree glow!


Related: Dear Boomers, This Christmas, I’m Thinking of You

As we received Christmas cards we attached them to the tree.  This was a special tree. As a child, I was very proud of it.  My sisters sent me presents from the big city of St. Louis. They lay nestled underneath. Of course, I couldn’t resist shaking them a time or two before Christmas morning! I may not remember anything about gifts that year, but I’ll always remember the tree.

When Christmas was over, my daddy planted our tree in the front yard of our rented home.  He had a green thumb and loved to keep a beautiful yard. Framed by large trees, it was always mowed and showcased beautiful flowers.  Each year, that little Christmas tree grew bigger and bigger.  He would always prune it so it’d keep its lovely shape.

Years later, he took a picture of me and my mother standing in front of that magnificent tree.  That old black and white picture is still dear to my heart. Not only is it a memory of a gift, but of my father’s beautiful Christmas gesture.

Christmas tree branches and pine cones.

Some homes may boast large trees, adorned with plenty of lights and fancy ornaments, a mountain of gifts arranged beneath their boughs. Other trees may be real and fill homes with the scent of pine. Some homes may have no tree at all. No matter if there is a tree or not, Christmas is about the love we carry in our hearts. Like my daddy who kept the little tree alive, my wish for you is that you keep the love alive in your heart. May you always cherish the memory of each Christmas and keep them dear.

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Originally published December 12, 2022

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