(This little strip of paper stands as proof that this weekly gem thing is luck of the draw. It is not Christmas time, but oh well. It's never too early to begin celebrating, right? Just kidding.)
Christmas trees. This brings back so many memories from childhood.
Most years, we would all pile into the big white Econoline van and head down to the tree lot on Nellis. My mom, the ever-singing angel of our family, would lead us in Christmas caroling whether we sang along or not. I loved it even when I didn't. Once we arrived, we'd all start hunting down the best tree of all time. I think mom had an idea for which one she wanted, but let us feel like we helped.
We'd get a Douglas fir when my dad got his way (or money was tight) and a Noble fir when my mom got her way. I never liked the Noble fir trees until I began doing my own Christmas decorating as an adult. I didn't realize how much better the ornaments hang. I think my flaw in taste was that I equated the branchiness of the Noble with the Charlie Brown tree. No kid wants that tree!
So anyways, we'd get home and all help decorate the tree. When I was really young, my mom used to bake gingerbread for us to build a house from scratch, decorate the front room with garland and cute Christmas cartoon art taped to the wall, and this kept our busy little bodies busy so as to not break her collectible ornaments. Decorating was always a very cheerful event even before we were allowed to actually touch the decorations.
One of my favorite things to put on the tree, which I refuse to bring into my house, was tinsel. My parents must have really loved the look of it or maybe it was for tradition's sake because I don't see how they could abide the holy mess we'd make with that stuff. It got all over us, the floor, and, yes, some on the tree.
My parents bought an artificial tree once I was just about out of the house since they discovered my mom had an allergy to pine trees. Gone were the winters of perpetual bronchitis after that, but also gone were the days of hunting down the best tree of all time.