My wife brought out the fake tree that we have yesterday and found that one of the legs was missing from the stand.  She tried numerous contraptions to make it work, to no avail.  I told her we should go out an get a real tree and she said she doesn’t want to deal with the needles.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

We better hurry up because our 13 year-old daughter is giving us a hard time about why we don’t have one up yet and it’s December 16.  We’re really hoping to get one today. Hopefully I can talk my wife out of getting a fake one. There is a few guys selling them in a nearby lot. I have noticed the prices dropping with each passing day.

I actually saw where someone in my neighborhood had their tree up right after Thanksgiving. They were surely “in the spirit.”

To be honest though I’m not a big Christmas tree guy. I could care less to tell you the truth. Fake, real, it doesn’t matter. The time you put it up, who cares?

As a kid living on ninth avenue I remember my mother getting us a tree. Location in your house was important. We lived in a five-room railroad apartment on ninth avenue so the only place we could put it was in the corner of our living room. We’d move a coffee table into a bedroom and set up shop in the same area every year.

The artificial tree was easy to assemble. All you did was take the sticks/branches and slide them into the wooden pole; then decorate it with the ornaments, lights, garland, and don’t forget the star at the top of the tree. Pulling out the decorations sucked. They would be thrown in boxes from a year ago tucked away in a closet somewhere; the lights were always tangled. Some of the balls were broken too.

We once had this really cool hand-made collectible that we bought from Bargain Land placed down at the bottom of the tree. It had a small ceramic  baby Jesus, his mom Mary and a few apostles hanging out.

Putting the tree together you would start at the bottom and work your way up – that was the golden rule. I always wanted to put the “balls’ on first. Decorating it was fun; taking the decorations off sucked. We always fought over who would put the star at the top. Come to think if it, our star was always crooked.

As we got older mom would eventually get us a real tree. I loved the smell of real trees. Every year there was always someone by the lot on 16th street with a tree business. There was tall trees, short trees, wide ones and skinny ones.  They’d be out there with a ton of trees leaned up against the fence trying to sell. It was great strategy to have their business right by the train station.  There was always a fire burning nearby in a garbage can so the tree sellers could stay warm. One year mom made me drag it all the way home. Now that sucked.

The tree stand was a pain in the ass. I remember one year mom trying to put it together and sticking the thick base of the tree inside the stand and getting it to stand up straight. Those screws drove us nuts. We could never get them evenly tightened. Often times our tree was wobbly, looking like it was going to tip over.

Mom gave me the job of watering the damn thing. I hated getting down low and crawling under to pour water into the stand. The needles were pointy.

And the lights on the tree; I think we were the only family that kept their lights on 24-7.

My wife has had a cool ‘Charlie Brown’ tree the past couple of years. With a fake tree there’s no mess. With a real tree you get all the pine needles all over the place when you drag it in and drag it out of the house.

I know we’re a bit behind but what’s the date where everyone usually has their tree up?  My wife told me that when she was about eight years old her father (whom they nicknamed “Scrooge” during the holidays) waited until Christmas Eve to get their tree.  Needless to say, the pickings were very slim.  She said they got the most pitiful tree and cried all the way home.

Mom always put our tree up a week before Christmas and took it down a week after.

What kind of tree do you have?

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Years!



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16 Responses to OH CHRISTMAS TREE

  1. J Stan says:

    You do not remember the kids setting the old trees on fire in the park? Fake is way safer. I never forget how fast those trees burned. They went up so fast – it was scary when they lit it.

    • hoopscoach says:

      J Stan,

      I was part of that gang that went around the neighborhood, collected the trees and dragged them to the park.

      That blog entry comes later.

      Happy Holidays

  2. jimmyvac says:

    We gotta get a new one.. ours was destroyed in the storm. We will get a 5-6 foot artifical green tree . We will put candles in the windows and some lights. We usually have everything up around the ffiteenth but running late this year,
    I remember as a kid having a white tree with blue bulbs… how cool was that!!

  3. TonyF16th St says:

    Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and a “BETTER” New Year
    The Fasano’s

  4. Maureen Rice (Flanagan) says:

    we used to take the trees over by the highway, across the street from Ford and burn them- of course it was dangerous, but, honestly, at the time, I never thought of that- I loved the smell- I remember spotting trees left out, and waiting til dark to go get them- for the past few years, I can NOT walk by all the trees in the neighborhood, left out for collection without shaking my head and thinking of what a bonanza that would have been back in the day..

    • hoopscoach says:


      We would go out in groups of 3-4. We covered the entire neighborhood. When we saw a tree on the sidewalk, in front of someone’s house, we felt like we had struck Gold.

  5. Glenn Thomas says:

    We have a fake tree for precisely the same reason which is to be safe from fire.

  6. TonyF16th St says:

    We would stack them against the wall of 154 and see how high the flames would go.

  7. jimmyvac says:

    I would have loved to have thrown that damn white tree with the blue bulbs to that fire.. as a kid, I thought it was a lame tree..

  8. TonyF16th St says:

    I remember once there was an abandon car under the Seeley St. bridge and we stuffed it with trees. I never saw anything like that especially since no one remember that there was gas in the cars tank. I thought the bridge was going to collapse.

  9. richie k says:

    tony do remember the tree burning’s in 154’s school yard by the dumpsters against the building, fire department usally came lol

  10. TonyF16th St says:

    LOL Richie, how crazy was that? The trees would burn in seconds but the flames were up to the first roof sometimes depending on how many trees we were burning. By the time the FD got there, there was nothing to put out.

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