I continue to get real trees for Christmas in honor of my father, Willis B. Williams, who always brought home the perfect tree. Selecting a tree is now a tradition between me and my daughter.
Growing up I don't remember a time when we didn't have a Christmas tree -- and they were always taller than Daddy, who was 6-ft tall. Sometimes we didn't have a tree until Christmas Eve when they were given out free at some places -- but Christmas was always a festive time in my family. My brothers and I helped my Mom decorate the tree and Daddy put up lights in the windows and decorated the outside of our house in Buffalo NY.
While we had a fireplace, mantel and chimney at our home, I don't remember waiting or looking out for Santa Claus. I do remember trying not to sleep so we could get to our presents at the first morning light and I do remember being told to go back to bed on occasion. We did get presents labeled from Santa that were from our "grandparents", Deety and Popoo. Those were the presents we opened first because they were always toys.
I love the smell of a real tree and the memories it brings. I don't have heirloom ornaments. What I do have are these seven very special ornaments made by my daughter, Libby (Elizabeth), throughout her elementary years. Each always get a prime spot on my tree. As long as I'm able I'll continue getting real trees even though I sweep up pine needles well into spring -- because there's nothing like the smell and the memories!