It’s really not Christmas until you put up the Christmas tree.
Guys, you know the drill. Your job is to get the tree out of the attic or garage and get it out of the box.
As I’ve gotten older Sara and I have gone from real trees to a fancy artificial that she bought one January on sale.
To keep everybody happy, let me be the first to say I like our neat-and- clean, easy-to-erect Christmas tree.
But in my heart, I’m a real Christmas tree lover.
I’ll admit, those store-bought Douglas firs trucked in from way up north are shapely and pretty. Modern technology and Hong Kong labor have also put some very real-looking artificial trees on the market.
Yes, a fresh cut evergreen even makes the house smell like Christmas. I guess I’ll go buy a bottle of Pine Sol and get in the Christmas spirit!
The yearning for a real Christmas tree may be inherited. The toys of my childhood were always found under a real tree.
I grew up in a house with 12-foot ceilings. That meant when we went looking for a Christmas tree we sought a 12-footer.
For kids reading these lines, the theory goes like this — the bigger the tree, the more presents it needs to keep it from looking so bare.
And some of those trees were real monsters.
I remember cutting one so tall it left brown sap marks on Momma’s white ceiling. She wasn’t too happy about that, but it’s hard to whip youngsters when they’re putting up the Christmas tree.
We also felled one so fat it pricked the arms of five adults as we tried to reach around it.
Decorating the tree is always a family event and has been since I was a boy.
We drink hot chocolate at the kitchen table and then head into the living room to adorn the tree.
Once the tree is safely and securely up my job was mostly finished, so I just sit on the couch and watch. Sara drags out at least four big boxes of decorations and smiles that mother-smile as she remembers bygone Christmas’ and younger children who made ornaments in first grade, Sunday School or Boy Scouts.
I have an old red plastic bell that was given to me by my mother way before I was a teenager. I always make sure it is hung where I can see it and remember her at Christmas.
The tree is usually heavily decorated on Daniel's side, but that is never a cause for concern as we quietly even it all out.
Once the tree was up and outfitted, we turned off the lights and savor the beginning of another Christmas season.
Trees that please
Aside from a Nativity scene, I don’t think there is much else in the world that says Christmas better than a Christmas tree.
We have a tree up at the Press Register, too. Several of the stores downtown have already gone to great lengths to spruce up the main drag with their Christmas decorations. The city has invested in Christmas ornaments this year and others across our town need to do their part to help set the tone for our community.
I hope you have already kicked off the Christmas season by putting up the Yule time greenery at your house.
Think back to the Christmas you remember the best. I dare say it doesn’t revolve around a toy, meal or special gift. At its core is time spent with those you love.
Those moments you remember are those burned heart-to-heart forever, with family and friends.
It’s so easy to make a holiday memory — just go looking for a tree.
Floyd Ingram is Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register. The only thing he likes more than telling about Christmas memories is making them. Call him at 662-627-2201 and tell him your Christmas memory.