This is part of my Christmas Memory Challenge, a goal I set for myself to recall 25 things I love about Christmas. You can also check out Shannon's memories here.
We didn't have normal Christmas trees when I was growing up. I mean, they were normal in the sense that they were trees but they sure didn't look like any of the trees our friends had in their houses.
When I was six, my mom took us home to Alberta to spend Christmas with our grandparents. My mom wanted to have a Christmas tree but didn't want a cut one that would go unwatered for two weeks so she pot a potted lodge pole pine. As we went back to Alberta every other Christmas, the potted pine was our permanent Christmas tree. It didn't stand much taller than I did, it had longer branches at the top than at the bottom, and it was never what you would call 'full'. Still, it was our Christmas tree and we loved it. Because of its smaller size, every ornament on it meant something to us.
My dad's trees came from our sizable backyard and because of this, we referred to them as our Charlie Brown trees.
You could always see every side of the tree no matter where you stood. You could reach into it to straighten it and not get poked in the face by branches. You could put on a heavy ornament and it would put the whole alignment of the tree out of whack. But despite the fact that they were often lacking in the branched department, there was always something so incredibly cheerful about them. They never looked perfect but they were perfect for our family.
We stopped going to Alberta for Christmas when my grandparents passed away, and we no longer cut down a tree at my dad's. Christmas tree now means a perfectly formed, store bought tree. They look nice. They smell nice. They're balanced nicely so they're easy to keep upright. But for all joy of finally having 'normal' Christmas trees, not one of them has ever had the personality of the lodge pole pine or dad's backyard finds.
I'll take a Charlie Brown tree with personality any Christmas.