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GUEST COLUMN: Memories of the family Christmas tree

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By Elizabeth Miles 

Elizabeth Miles

We put our tree up on December 23rd.

It had to be a live one, usually a spruce which was not the most long lasting tree. By New Years there were more needles on the floor than on the tree; my father would plunk it in a small pail of water and everyday more water was added. That tree drank more water than a runner in a marathon.

The box of decorations were brought out. Same ones year after year. It was like an old friend coming to visit. It was the late 1940’s, our lights were a homage to Walt Disney. There was Cinderella, the Seven Dwarfs, Snow White and there had to be a Prince. The tinsel was put on each branch, one strand at a time and when my father put the angel on top, we stood back and always said, “This is the best tree ever.”

That night we went to bed very pleased with ourselves. Tomorrow we would put the gifts under the tree, and Santa’s milk and cookies were ready for the big day.

Well Christmas Eve morning we went into the living room to admire our accomplishment and lo and behold, the tree was no longer upright but sprawled across the room in a puddle of water. Sneezy had lost his head, Snow White now wore a mini skirt, Cinderella was barefoot and the angel had one wing. There were balls of tinsel all over the floor. All you needed was a bat for a game of baseball. We all just stood there in shock when Minerva the cat strolled in to admire her part in this fiasco.

Well my dad stood the tree up in a corner, put a nail in the wall, much to the horror of my mother. He wrapped a large rope around the tree and tied it to the nail. Sneezy had a new head, Snow White was now wearing a gown, the angel and the tinsel just got thrown on the tree. It landed on any branch as there was no way we were going to untangle that mess.

That night Santa came and there were surprises under the tree just like all the other years. Even Minerva got a toy so I guess she was forgiven. But when we sat down to dinner, we gave thanks for the feast in front of us and we made sure we thanked the makers of Elmer’s glue.

Elizabeth Miles was born in Cape Breton and moved to Corunna 11 years ago. She loves to write stories about her family and childhood memories.

 

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