December 16, 1964
Jocie Brooke reporting from Holly County, Kentucky. I am excited! We got to go Christmas tree hunting Sunday at Miss Sally’s farm. I couldn’t believe Dad agreed to get the tree ten days before Christmas. He says I have to make sure to keep water in the bucket of rocks so it won’t dry out. And that we have to hunt one that’s nice and green.
You’d think with all the cedar trees on Miss Sally’s farm that finding a Christmas tree would be a piece of cake. Not so. Cedar trees seem to grow in every size imaginable – except Christmas tree size.
What is Christmas tree size? One that will fit in the corner next to the door. That’s where Aunt Love says it has to go. I campaigned for the spot in front of the window facing the road, but Aunt Love says that’s too close to the stove. Her house burned down once a long time ago and she says she’s not wanting that to happen again.
Well, I don’t want the house to burn down either, but it’s not like we’d be putting the tree right next to the stove. But Dad says we have to put it where Aunt Love wants it. Sigh. So anyway, we have to find one that will fit. It can’t be too tall. It can’t be too bushy. But it has to be nice and green and not be straggly. The first tree is way too small and straggly. You could hardly hang a dozen ornaments on it. The other one here isn’t perfect either. It’s too tall, but Dad trimmed it up and made it work. It didn’t matter than it was flat on one side. We just put that side against the wall.
Tabitha helped me decorate it and Leigh came over too. She’d never decorated a cedar Christmas tree before. She didn’t know it would make her hands so itchy. But she loved the cedar smell.
Dad just watched and smiled a lot. But then he always smiles a lot when Leigh’s around. Aunt Love complained that we were getting cedar needles all over the floor. She went out to the kitchen to get the broom, but must have forgotten she was cross because instead of getting the broom, she made hot cocoa for us. When we heard her getting out a pan, Tabitha went to help to make sure she didn’t burn something. Aunt Love can’t remember things any more.
I waited until Tabitha and Aunt Love came back from the kitchen before I plugged in the lights. Tabitha was carrying her baby, Stephen. He laughed out loud when I plugged in the lights. Dad says having a baby around makes Christmas more fun. Stephen’s almost one now.
Did you ever hunt a Christmas tree out in the field and then bring it home to decorate? Did you put icicles on it? We did. Made ours look so pretty. If I hadn’t run out of film, I’d have taken a picture of it for you. I can’t wait till Christmas Eve.