The five service pups I've raised...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tree Time

Tree time...if I'm going to take the time to put up a Christmas tree, for me it has to be a live one.

I am still a sucker for a live Christmas tree. Yesterday I picked out a noble fir at the tree lot and let it soak over night in a bucket in the garage. Today I put it upright in the stand after first slipping it into the huge bag that I’ll use when it’s time to take it down in January. (It’s easy to hide the bag underneath the tree skirt.) I am aiming for making things easier for myself this year whenever possible.

I screwed the bolts into the trunk to keep it upright in the stand and carried it inside to the living room "Oooof, that's heavy, it will be so much lighter when carrying it out in January, after it has dried out from being in the house for weeks", I thought. Ah but for now that smell, that fresh pine smell –it is almost intoxicating! so fresh, so woodsy. I learned this year that the small nodules on the trunk’s base are actually where the scent comes from. That if you cut open these nodules, the pine fragrance is released. Well that’s too tricky once the tree is upright. (But I did go back a few weeks later when my tree’s scent had subsided, to collect the round trunk scraps cut from others’ tree trunks). I love that smell can you tell?

Ahh fresh pine...such a wonderful smell...

These nodules are the little pods that containt that pine scent.

A noble fir from Oregon.

This year I had the brilliant idea to leave the twine around the tree and just go on faith, picking out the tree by its wrapped fullness and how straight the trunk looked. I think I did pretty well.

Still wrapped up here, it looks almost like a lady’s figure or mannequin doesn’t it?

But once the twine comes off, and the branches relax, wa-la – it’s a tree! I put the fullest sides facing out from the corner.
The angel goes on top first and then the colored lights.A second person would have come in handy for this step, to hand the lights over to.

The dogs are both pooped from their busy day and fast asleep unaware of what’s happening in
their living room.
Kerry says - Too tired Mom, sorry :)

Francie dreams of sugar plums...

After the lights, I open all my boxes of ornaments. I have way too many for this smaller tree (6 foot). I’m a sentimentalist so I save every ornament that has a memory for me, of Christmas’ past.

Well I picked out my favorites. Here are a few of them…can you guess their meaning? I bet most of my family will recognize them or guess their meaning.

Irma and Kerry in a frame

The last ornament Lorrie got for me.

From my ballroom dancing days.

Ralph the sock monkey from PLP training...

My oldest are ones that were hand blown glass that my grandparents used. See the old box – Uncle Sam shaking hands with Santa as it proudly proclaims “American Made”. You won’t see that on any ornaments anymore!

Drats! I only had six of these and now I have 5 :( This sounded like shattering china when it hit the floor. My heart sank.

Ah yes, so pretty. It was an empty corner in my living room just waiting for a week, as I had out my other Christmas d├ęcor, but now, the tree is up so the house is complete.
I love spending quiet evenings just sitting in my rocking chair looking at it; fondly recalling Christmas’ past.

And after a busy but fun afternoon with carols playing, I have this lovely result.

Raise a glass and welcome Christmas.

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