Among our family Christmas traditions is Christmas Eve communion. This tradition didn’t start until I was in college. At that time, the pastor at the church I grew up in started serving come and go communion and this tradition continues today. Even before this tradition started, we would go to my grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve. When this started, the family would go to church as a large group and receive communion.
I have fond memories of decorating the Christmas tree when I was growing up. We always used an artificial tree. This was not the realistic artificial trees that you see today. The branches of this tree had a green hue that was identical to the color of the green army men that I played with regularly. I’m willing to bet that it was the same type plastic and possibly made at the same factory. It was not a tall tree either. It probably wasn’t over 5 feet tall. When I was young, it didn’t seem that small but as I got older, I realized how short it was. The angel at the top of the tree was never in danger of scraping the ceiling.
My grandparents are the only people that I can remember having an aluminum Christmas tree. These trees became popular in the early 1960’s. I don’t know when my grandparents got theirs but I don’t remember a Christmas before they got it and since I was born in 1962, there is a good chance that they were using it for my very first Christmas. The only decorations on the tree were balls and all of them were blue. My grandparents also had a color light wheel for the tree just like everyone else who had these. The wheel would be pointed at the tree would slowly rotate changing the color of the light shining on the tree. It seems like the motor on the wheel quit working after a few years. My grandparents didn’t buy a new wheel or get the motor repaired. Instead they chose to leave the blue light shining on the tree.
My oldest daughter’s birthday falls between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. So for her first Christmas, she was almost a year old. She was old enough that she would be able to appreciate getting toys. She would also be able to enjoy looking at Christmas decorations. My wife always decorated our whole house for Christmas with at least one tree in every room. This tradition continued for our daughter’s first Christmas. The main tree was located in the corner of our dining room. This was a great spot for a Christmas tree since there were windows on the walls in the corner behind the tree. The sides of the tree that couldn’t easily be seen from the room could be seen through the windows. Our house was on the busiest street in the small town were we lived so everyone could see our tree. We would keep the blinds on the windows in this room open during Christmas. The lights on the tree would be the only lights we would keep on in that room.
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