Now some might wax poetic about certain ornaments on this tree: "Oh look at the picture of little T. Bud hugging Fudgey the bear!" (At least I think his name was Fudgey...something along those confectionery lines).
But I remember the day that tree came home.
Circa 1988 is when my parents stopped buying real trees after the last one they bought pretty much lost all of its needles by Christmas.
I don't exactly remember if we bought the fake tree pre- or post-Christmas but it was the way it came home that makes me skip down memory lane.
My mother is pretty even keel. I don't recall her really getting too riled up except as to what would be expected of a stay at home mother of six kids born in a 10 year window.
Keep that little tidbit in mind.
Another integral part of my childhood is a chronology of various "family cars" we drove. Each one was special and each one had it's own nickname.
When we bought this tree, we were riding around in Vanna Green.
Vanna was an 8 passenger 1975 Dodge van that my dad bought at a military auction. She was a decommissioned Army van.
She had NO interior panels (it was just you, a piece of metal and then the road--none of this fancy upholstery you have in cars!), the heat didn't really function that well, if at all (so if you sat in the back seat like I did, you would have to curl up under blankets to keep warm), and there for a time her transmission was kaput to the point where she wouldn't go in reverse. That was always fun--parking in spots you didn't have to back out of!
One of her other quirks was you could only open both of the back doors from the inside of the van. You could get one door open from the outside, but not the other.
So if you had groceries you were bringing home--you had to have someone stand in the back seat, lean over precariously and open the other door for you.
Cut to the day my Mom decides it's time to quit rolling the dice on Alaskan Scrawny Christmas trees or trees that have presumably been on semi trucks up to Alaska since Halloween--just ready to lose all their needles.
She scores the beauty you see in the picture above, and we load the large box into the back of the van and drive home.
And then we get home.
And, do you see where this story is going?
We could open ONE SIDE of the back doors, but not both doors.
The way the tree box was in there, one couldn't do the typical lean-over-the-back-seat and open the door move because the tree box was covering the handle to open the door.
I have never heard my my mother swear that much in my life. Even to this day.
There were various maneuvers to get that second door open attempted--including something involving a long handled ice-scraper I believe.
In the end, we had to open the box (which leaning over the back seat wasn't itself too easy to do) and carry each piece of the tree in bit-by-bit.
Then I believe she was able to cut the bottom of the box so it folded flatish and get it out of poor old Vanna Green, where she brought it inside, taped it back up and repacked the brand new Christmas tree.
And to me, that is what makes my parents' Christmas tree special--the memory of my mother swearing like a sailor get that thing out of our crappy ass van!
What's your favorite (kooky if you have it) holiday memory?