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Wherever you live, whether it’s Seattle or Alaska, one feature of Christmas never changes: Santa Claus. He’s always fat, white-bearded and dressed in a red suit.
Okay, there may be one exception. I’ve heard tales that he wears shorts in some of our warmer climates, but that’s unconfirmed, and I certainly hope someone just made it up.
Christmas trees on the other hand can take many forms. The trees I remember from my childhood were nothing like today’s picture perfect plantation-grown ones. Some were plump, some were scraggly, some were tall and skinny. Many were lopsided. Some were without branches in important places. The search for the perfect tree was likely to be futile. No matter how the tree looked, we kids loved it and would sit in awe and wonder looking at it.
In the ‘50 cosmetic help for trees came on the scene. The new fad was called flocking. It was to make the tree look like it had been in a snowstorm. Or, at least it did until people began flocking their trees in pink or blue. Flocking was a messy business. It also had the problem of making the lights short out.
In the ‘50s and ‘60s The United States Silver Tree Company and other firms thought they could improve on nature with trees made of aluminum! Billed as a “breathtaking spectacle day or night,” actually, they looked more like something that
was recycled. Some people put colored spotlights on them. In my opinion that didn’t improve
The next improvement on Mother Nature was plastic trees. The early models looked like ..um plastic trees. The branches had to be individually stuck in holes on the center pole. They looked like toilet bowl cleaners.
Now if you buy an artificial tree, they come in two or three pieces with the lights already strung on all the branches. The lights on the tree is a true blessing. In most families, the job of putting lights on the tree fell to the man of the house. Every year there was a string of lights that didn’t work, so every bulb on the string had to be tested to see which bulb was bad. In the old days if one bulb was bad the whole string went out. I think the best improvement in tree decorating was when new strings of lights came on the market where if one light went out, the rest of the lights stayed on.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
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