Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Trees - Part One

When I was a kid growing up in the islands, just about anything could be a Christmas tree, including a grouping of seafans with ornaments hanging off them.

Mostly we had artificial trees because by the time real fir trees reached us from their cool northern climes they were already turning brown and dropping needles all over the place. Nowadays they arrive in refrigerated containers and look just as good as the ones available in the states. However, they are quite expensive.

We most always had an artificial tree. For many years we had an aluminium one. It was small, about three feet. It sat on top of our side-board, so there was plenty of room for presents to go under it. We strung lights on it. My father, the master electrician/electronics engineer never said anything about not stringing lights on it. I hear now that you're not suppose to because of the possibility of getting shocked. My father would never have endangered us, so I wonder just how hazardous it is....

The lights we used were small, probably among the first miniature sets ever made. (We're talking somewhere between 1958 and 60.) Each little clear light had its own colored plastic sort of star-shaped cover. All those different colored lights made our little aluminum tree sparkle and shimmer like a multi-faceted jewel. Then when we'd add glass ornaments! It was breath-taking.

Of all the artificial trees we had, that little aluminum one is my all time favorite. I'd love to have another, and I'd probably put lights on it.


  1. Such great memories you have. We have an artifical tree here because trees are so valuable in Korea. It's like a crime to cut one down after the Japanese came through and decimated the country.

  2. I'm afraid I'm a real tree gal. I love the smell of pine, the whiff of forest and some primal connection to old traditions. But I'm in an apartment now, so last year I found the tiniest tree, which actually fit in the front seat of my Miata.
    I love the way you recall your childhood memories.

  3. I think those lights were worth any minimal danger they might have imposed. Look at the memories they created --

    and we put lights on everything. So far, nothing has exploded or ignited.

  4. There's nothing better than a pre-lit tree, IMO. Ours has three pieces and goes up in five minutes flat. I love it!

  5. We have always had an artificial tree. My kids even help putting it up,so it's not too bad! Luckily my husband puts the lights on and the kids and I decorate it!
    Do you have a picture of the aluminum tree?

  6. This is the first year ever that we've not put up a tree. We normally decorate the daylights out of the house, but we're leaving for 2 weeks vacation in December, and we decided to go the easy route. My daughter and I did put a 2 ft. fiber optic tree on a table in the living room. Does that count?

  7. Your old tree sounded great, Bish. We mostly had fresh trees when I was growing up. I remember one year we got a flocked one, and boy, that was messy! Now we have an artificial tree. We went this route for fire safety reasons. But now that we have such a high roof, it's more economical than trying to buy a 9-10' tree somewhere. And I'm spoiled because I live in a forest surrounded by pines.

    But back to your little aluminum one, I bought the boys a 1' one at Borders the other day. They have it on the table in their playroom. I think it was $3 or so. :)

  8. Thanks Christina. I didn't know that about Korea.

    Anne,Hubby says my father may have done some grounding to insure our safety.

    Yeah, I could easily go with a pre-lit tree Elena!

    Nope, Kelly. No picture of the aluminum tree, unfortunately.

    Nora, every year hubby and I kind of debate about whether to put on up or not. It's just the two of us. I'm satisfied with the stockings being hung up, but he tends to want a bit more....

    Got more tree stories coming Rena. They weren't all artificial, but they weren't firs either!

  9. I would never think of an aluminum tree as being beautiful, but from your description I can see that they certainly can be. Thanks for the lovely image.

  10. Always a debate among my family: read or artificial? We usually come down on the side of real and that's because of the aroma of pine that it brings into the house.

  11. We did real for years, but once Son moved out, we downsized and now we have a little 3 foot article tree that we decorate...Hubs jokes that finally there is a tree small enough that I can put the lights on and he doesn't have to...grin...Hugs...

  12. Aluminum can be very pretty, MG. Maybe a bit cold...being metal, but very pretty. Don't we try to capture that pretty when we put tinsle on trees?

    Lee, No doubt about it the smell of a real tree is wonderful!

    Every year hubby and I have to decide if we even WANT to bother with a tree! LOL.


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