When I was a preteen, I went with my Dad to buy our trees around ten o'clock on Christmas Eve after the prices were slashed in half by the vendor because he needed to stretch his salary from the New York City design firm where he worked as a drawing board artist. After handing over a dollar or two, we'd lug it home tied to the top of the lemon yellow Dodge station wagon with fender fins in the back.
The year Dad had his stroke placing him on VA Disability that was a lot less than his usual take home salary, our trip to the tree lot very late on Christmas Eve became a necessity if we were to have a tree at all. Now a teenager, I went with Mom to pick a scrawny tree from the back of the lot. Then Mom began her bargaining magic. A sweet redheaded Southern woman, her soft accented voice melted the hardened heart of the New York tree lot owner so that he gave her the tree for a dollar. He probably knew he wouldn’t be able to sell it anyway. Half its needles already littered the lot floor! Fire hazard or not, Mom and I attempted to wrestle it to the top of the silver grey station wagon. The lot salesman's sympathy for us extended to securing the tree on top of the car. To top off his generosity, he wouldn’t even take the quarter tip Mom offered him. She probably was clueless that such a small tip would normally be an affront!
Back at home, Dad was able enough, in spite of his nearly paralyzed right side, to help us get the tree from the top of the car, saw off the bottom (I held the tree securely), and together we secured it in the tree stand set up in the living room. As I recall, he generously watered it. The thirsty tree sucked up that water so quickly I could almost hear it suck and slurp! I do believe it may have given a satisfied sigh, L.O.L. Before bedtime, we refilled the tree well, then again in the morning. Strange or miraculous as it may seem, that tree lasted us until New Years Eve when all used trees got hauled to the curb for garbage pickup.
These days, fresh evergreen Christmas trees have prices ranging from $5 - $10 per foot! Thus I don't have one. I set up my wee two foot "tree" on the living room coffee table where the gifts around its base dwarf it! I decorate it with mini-colored and white lights, mini glass balls and tiny gold bells. Gold garland and a string of tiny red beads complete the decorations. It's kinda cute! Well, enough from me for today. As my dear Mom would have said, "Don't be strangers, now, you hear. Y'all come back." Blessings, Cass Wessel