It seems like only yesterday when I was putting away the boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations which our family and our circle of friends enjoy as we celebrated the holiday season.
Now I have begun the arduous task of hauling those boxes back into the house so that we begin the decorating for this year.
Carol loves to decorate for Christmas and she will admit that she may go a little overboard but the house looks great when she has her task accomplished. One aspect of our decorating is having it done with the one exception of the tree. Everything is in place so that we can carry in the evergreen and having secured it into the stand, adorning it with the lights our family comes by to hang the ornaments.
We get two full-sized trees. We do a Disney themed tree in the dining room and the old cherished ornaments hang from the other tree. Those ornaments include the usual Hallmark style of items but most are the very special ones. You have those special ones as well - baby’s and a couple’s first Christmas, those popsicle stick snowflakes the kids made in school and the hand crafted ones from Aunt Minnie. Those are the ornaments that help rekindle the Christmas memories.
Once the Germans began the tradition of bringing a tree into the home to celebrate the Christmas season, those tree memories have become a great part of us.
I happen to think that if those memories are so important then the selection of a tree for the honored spot in the house needs to be done with some thought.
For longer than the past three decades I have trekked over to North Fork and purchased my tree from the Scouts. The adults and boys of the Scout troop go out with their permits, gloves, saws, and trailers and find the 500 trees that they will supply to local families. They bring those locally cut trees back to North Fork and on the first Saturday in December of each year, they sell those trees right behind the branch library.
The trees are as fresh as can be, the monies raised support boy and girl scouting in that area, the kids learn to work for their expense money, and we get to meet a future leader when that kid helps you locate your tree and then carry it to your vehicle. They only charge $2.75 per foot (it’s okay to donate more) and give us the first foot free so that we can cut off the sap sealed part and allow the tree to soak up water from the stand. See you in North Fork at 9am on Saturday.
After getting the tree home, swing by the Von’s Center parking lot and you will see a tent, a few emergency service units, a few classic cars, and some smartly dressed Marines who will be making a final push for Toys for Tots.
Drive by and hand off a new unwrapped toy for a kid. Heck - hand off a few toys if you wish or make a donation of cash and those great Marines will even do the shopping for you. All the stuff collected stays in the Mountain Area and Santa is relying on those Marines to help get the job done. The Marines are counting on us and since the Corps never let us down we can’t disappoint them.
This is the season of giving and sharing. The Marines invite you to help and the scouts stand ready to serve. Trees and Toys for Tots - how terrific.