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Holiday Happenings

Today’s Advent of Christmas Memories 2011 features Holiday Happenings.  Here’s the assignment:

Often times December to mid-January birthdays and anniversaries get over shadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays. So we’re going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around. Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries on your family tree. Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.

The three most important birthdays in December are my wife, Kara, and two daughters, Marijke and Bridget.  Kara’s birthday is Dec 29 (I’m not telling her age!).  Marijke aka Annie, (she’s lucky she gets an aka!) was born Dec 31, 1999.  She was the last child born in the year 1999 in that Abilene, TX hospital!  Bridget (alas, no aka) was born Dec 21, 2002 in Rapid City, South Dakota.

If anyone gets the short end of the stick with the holiday birthdays, I imagine it’s Kara.  Everyone is petered out by that point.  Bridget is still a few days before Christmas so it’s really just buying an extra gift.  Marijke’s birthday falls on New Year’s Eve so that’s usually a little party in and of itself.  Yup, it’s Kara.  Hopefully, this year we can change that.


The Christmas Tree


The assignment for Day 1 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories  follows:

Did you have a real tree or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree? What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?


Growing up, it was my mom who always decorated the tree.  I remember coming home from school and always being amazed seeing the tree up, decorated and all lit up.  Although my mom decorated the tree the same day every year, it was still magical.  As we got older, she wanted to know if we wanted to help decorate.  Not I!  It doesn’t matter how old I am, coming into a home all decorated still brings a sense of wonder.


Now that I have my own family, I help my wife string the lights and the kids and her do the decorations.  I “coach” from the sideline.  I have the patience of a raging rhino…meaning absolutely none (I can point out my own faults, thank you!)

Does size matter?  Is it real or fake?

Of course size matters!  The bigger the tree, the better.  Don’t let anyone tell you different!  I’m 6 foot 2 so the tree has to be bigger than me!!

As a child, we mainly had an artificial tree until we moved to Montana.  At that point, my parents figured we would go real considering all the pines around us.  I can’t say as I blame them.  The smell is incredible!  For the longest time we would cut our own down.  When my sister became old enough, she worked at a Christmas tree farm so we got the best trees.

As adults, Kara and I have done both.  I believe in the 18 years we’ve been married, we’ve probably done 9 as artificial and 9 as real.  I do love the real tree just for the smell.  The mess, on the other hand, is a different story.