Today is Saturday and I think Dad will give in and get the Christmas tree today. He has been putting it off for what seems like forever. Ma asked him last night if he might do it this week-end and he tapped his foot, took another sip of coffee and muttered that he would try to find one that would fit in the house. I told you that Dad just tolerates holidays like a rash. I don’t think I have ever seen him excited over any holiday and when I asked Ma about it once, she just shrugged her shoulders and said that some people are like that. Well, I am just hoping he will do it today so we can decorate this afternoon.
Ma is sweeping and cleaning out the corner and I don’t see Dad anywhere so I guess he has finally decided he can’t put off getting the tree another minute. He hates it as the only place we have to put it, is in the corner of the kitchen. Seems like every time he goes by, he hits a branch and knocks off something and then he mutters! I ask Ma if he has gone and she says he put on his snowshoes and grabbed his axe so he should be home soon with a tree. At least the corner is all cleared and chairs moved so it can fit.
Curt yells at me to look out the window and that Dad is back, dragging a tree behind him. It looks awful big to me and Dad has his buck saw ready to take some limbs off and cut some off the end. I think he cut the first tree he came to because this looks like no one in the world would choose it for their Christmas celebration. Curt says he thinks it is pretty and I tell him it will be once we get our decorations on.
Curt and I back into the opposite side of the kitchen because Dad is making a big ka-thrash through with the tree and Ma is telling him he is knocking all the needles off and making a mess. Doesn’t sound much like a fun Christmas right now, but we go through this every year. Dad has nailed two boards across the bottom of the tree in a big “X” and has driven a nail into the wall by each window. Then he will take the clothesline Ma is holding and hook it to one nail, wind it around the middle of the tree and then hook the other end to the other nail. That way the tree should stay secure for the few days Dad will allow it in the house. There, by Gar, my Dad says, standing back with a look of satisfaction on his face. What do you think of that, he asks us and we nod our heads to show we think it is the best tree in the whole forest. I am thinking it might look an awful lot better if we cover it with as many things as we can.
After dinner, Dad announces he is going to visit his brother, my uncle, Roy for awhile. Ma thinks this is a good time to go to the attic and bring down the big box of ornaments. They aren’t much to look at, but a few nights ago, Curt and I sat at the kitchen table and colored and cut out strips of paper. Ma made us some paste out of flour and water and maybe something else, and we made two big long chains of colored paper rings. Curt digs out a purple metal cone and Ma says that is Roland’s ornament that he got when he was a baby. We find a few more metal ornaments shaped like little bells, cupcakes, stars and some have glitter . They all look in pretty bad shape but tonight when the Aladdin lamp is lit, they will sparkle in the light. We have one ragged looking red and one worse looking green garland which we have had since I can remember. Curt and I string that on and the tree is beginning to look better. Maybe it’s because we can’t see much of the tree now!
We have added the paper chains and it is looking fancy so we dig deep to the bottom of the box and bring out the icicles left from last year. There aren’t too many, so we drape them one by one on the branches to make it look all even. They will really sparkle in the lamp light tonight!!
Curt reminds me not to hang icicles too close to where we walk by as usually Dad brushes against a limb and if he gets any on his sleeve, he has quite a time! Ma says it is hard enough to get through holidays with him without putting icicles in his way. Curt looks at me and snickers and I give him my evil eye look.
Now the tree stands in the kitchen corner looking pretty decent. It cuts down on our space in the little house, but Christmas comes but once a year so I guess we can stand it for a week, at least.
Now the gift wrapping is to come and Curt will be writing more letters to Santa Claus. He writes one most nights and I fold it and put it on the sill of the frosty window. He doesn’t ask for much, I guess, because it doesn’t take him long to print his note.
It is good to see the excitement in his face. Even Dad can’t spoil that with his humbugging!