I love the sparkling lights and colorful decorations of Christmas trees. As I was reading the story on my friend Jen's blog the other day of their experiences with their first live Christmas tree, it brought back memories of trees I've had from Christmases past. I thought I'd share some of my trees with you all and the stories that accompany them. Isn't it funny that Christmas Trees have a way of marking time and each one has a story to tell?
Here's my first story to share with you.
The year of my Chubby & Tubby Christmas tree
The year was 1993. I lived alone in an apartment in the Ballard area of Seattle, WA. Seattle is an expensive city and my paycheck was small, so I budgeted my money carefully.
There was this all purpose/hardware type store on Aurora Avenue Every area has an Aurora Avenue. It's typically a street that's part of a State Highway system that has since been by-passed by Interstates. The businesses along these routes tend to cater to specific needs. You'll see lot after lot of used car sales with their ribbons flapping in the breeze. Businesses in non-descript low buildings that, unless you care to look at the sign, you have no idea of what their purpose is or who works behind the closed doors. Billboards that dwarf the long line of single story buildings that was the main-stay of the city years long since past. Along such a street in Seattle, there stood Chubby & Tubby. A mish mosh store of odds and ends. They sold all sorts of things, cheap.
Christmas at Chubby & Tubby's was no different. They brought out bows and ribbons, lights and electrical cords, ornaments and stockings. All sorts of Christmasey decorations, including, fresh cut Christmas Trees.
Imagine my delight when I first heard about the $5.00 Chubby & Tubby Christmas Tree. I drove my little car over to the store and looked through their assortment of trees. After looking through the various sizes (they sold more than just the $5.00 trees) I picked out my tree. My $5.00 Christmas tree. Someone had purchased a saw, at Chubby & Tubby of course, and in true Christmas spirit, helped me cut the end off and wrap my tree up. Because, at $5.00 a tree, Chubby & Tubby wasn't offering any help. :-) After paying for my tree, and the worlds smallest tree stand, I shoved my little tree into my trunk, tied down the back and headed back to set my little tree up in my apartment.
One of my biggest problems with Christmas tree decorating is the lights. It's a problem because I'm anal about them. I cannot put the lights on and have cords showing. It bugs me beyond reason and sanity. When I put lights on a tree, I'm wrapping every branch, in and out, in and out until the entire tree is covered in lights, my arms are scratched from the needles and my mood has gone from Christmas cheer to Christmas gloom. But once it's done and I plug in the cord(s), oh bliss. The glow of the Christmas tree's lights melt away the frustration of placing the lights just so. Fortunately, with this tree, the branches are so sparse, weaving the lights in and out was easily achieved without too many scratches.
At first, as you can see in the picture, I decorated w/ lights and a box of candy canes, later in the week, I received a box from my Mom that contained all my Christmas decorations and ornaments from home. I spent that night decorating my little Christmas tree with all my memories from home.
So that is the story of my Chubby & Tubby Christmas tree. A little Charlie Brown Christmas tree that truly did transform to something quite special in the end.