I realize people who visit Twenty Four At Heart come from many different nationalities and religious backgrounds. This time of year, I love reading about the different traditions people have. It's always interesting to learn about how other families celebrate their holidays.
My extended family comes from a wide variety of ethnicities and religious backgrounds. We make an eclectic group. Through the years there's been a mixing and melding of traditions. The same thing is probably true of many families.
Yesterday I put something out on Twitter about purchasing our Christmas tree. I got a few responses which made me realize how even something like acquiring a Christmas tree can vary a lot depending on where you live.
Years ago, we would go to a live Christmas tree lot and cut down a tree to bring home. Never mind, the tree lot was in the middle of Orange County businesses … it made us feel rustic. The fresh trees were great.
Well, except for one thing. It's so sunny where we live the trees would continue to grow after they were cut down. They'd grow towards our biggest living room window. The trunk would bend and bend, until eventually the tree would topple over and break all of the ornaments.
I decided we should buy deader trees.
About the same time, we started having a big holiday party each year. By big, I mean we would have 150+ people drifting in and out of our house some years. I felt like we needed a really big (!), beautiful (!), perfectly shaped (!) tree for the party. We have very high vaulted ceilings in our living room and they scream for a tall tree. We would even buy a second tree to put upstairs in our loft area. It was magical to have two trees in the house.
It was also a lot of work.
The holiday party tradition died the year I had my car accident. We stopped having two trees when the party died also.
It makes me a little sad, if I'm honest.
We have, however, continued to have a big tree in our living room. We don't go quite as big as we used to, but we get a tree that's about eleven feet tall each year. It isn't always easy to find big trees in Orange County. We've gone year after year to the exact same business.
It's simply called: The Big White Tent.
A family from Oregon brings a huge load of Christmas trees to sell in Orange County each year. They have smaller trees (as you can see in the picture above) but they specialize in big trees. The Big White Tent gets set up in various locations depending on where they can rent space. Each year we get a postcard from them telling us where they'll be.
They always stay close to Money Town. They're very smart business people.
Inside the tent are trees – and more trees.
There are two other great features of a tree from The Big White Tent. First, the workers deliver the tree to your home. They bring it right into the house and twirl it around as many times (!) as you request until it's right where you want with it's best side facing forward.
I might take advantage of the Nice Men's abundance of tree-twirling patience.
There's a second advantage of buying a tree from the Big White Tent. Your tree arrives in a bullet-proof stand. By bullet-proof I mean it isn't possible for a beautiful Big White Tent Tree to topple over – no matter how tall it is. (Well, maybe in a big enough earthquake, but it would have to be a very big one!)
If you celebrate Christmas, where does your tree come from? If you don't celebrate Christmas, do you have any traditions for preparing to celebrate Hannukkah, Kwanzaa or any other holidays?
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