I grew up in Kimball, Nebraska, and I remember our family heading out to cut down Ponderosa pines for Christmas trees. My memory is now confused with the Griswold’s experience in “Christmas Vacation,” but I don’t think we ever forgot to bring the saw!
Mostly I remember that, growing up on the farm, even on cold and snowy Christmas mornings we were outside doing chores—feeding cattle and other critters. The air is never so crisp or still as it is on a cold winter morning. In all my memories there is hoarfrost on the few trees we had. I did NOT want to be there at the time (I thought we were being abused by our mean father! – ha) but looking back now they are good memories.
When my kids were little, we used to go to Walt Bagley’s place to get live trees and I was always so impressed with how spry he was for a 75-year-old guy—out cutting and hauling trees around.
Now I like to cut young cedar trees and put them on the back deck as a Christmas tree festooned with seed-covered pine cones and popcorn strands for the birds (and squirrels) to enjoy. My kids have grown and left the house so part of my enjoyment of the holidays is to watch the birds frolic on my deck. I think they’re thankful for my efforts.