Here we are once again, December, and the upcoming Christmas holiday. Thanksgiving is over and it’s all about leftovers and pumpkin pie for breakfast. Now it’s the craziness of Christmas. The grandchildren are all adults now and the days of board games and new mittens are a thing of the past. Now it’s gas cards and Visa cards. One stop shopping at the local grocery store. I like that. And no wrapping boxes. I’m beginning to sound like a grumpy old lady. Well, I guess that’s what I am. So be it. 

grandpa gael

Looking back on all our Christmases, one thing Gael and I agreed on from the get-go was trimming the Christmas tree on Christmas eve. It’s what his family did and what my family did. For a few years I believed Santa trimmed our tree. Our first Christmas after we were married, we trimmed our little tree on Christmas Eve with the help of P.F Peake. I think I have pictures of that. Gael gave me an Electrolux vacuum cleaner that year. The next year it was a belt sander. But that is another story. 

When we moved to Underhill, I started cutting our own tree. I don’t remember much about the trek into the woods, but I do remember going across the river and up on the side hill across from the house. How I got there, I’m not sure, but I dragged a tree back to the house. A few years later, we 

purchased the property where we are now, and I had trees everywhere to cut, and they were easy to get to. I do remember taking walks in the summer and marking future trees for cutting, forgetting that we might get a good dumping of snow early in December. I did have to scramble then. In the process of driving back and forth on our road every day, I would spot good trees close to the road. There were 

only a few houses on the road back then, and people didn’t post their land the way they do now, so I would carry a saw with me just in case I spotted the perfect tree. Fast forward to Christmas eve when the kids finally went to bed, we would bring the tree in and secure it with anything we could find. In a few years the kids were old enough to help trim the tree. My mother would come out, and she and Gael’s mother were the tinsel people. I would read The Night Before Christmas to the kids from a book that I had when young. My name is written in the front. I still have it. 

In recent years, because all of our good trees have grown too big, I actually buy a tree from the local Boy Scout troop. I don’t know if I will ever get a fake tree, but the friends that have them think it’s great. Gael always thought a table tree would be good. I may be headed that way. We’ll see. Fruitcake, anyone? 


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