Written by Jean Kummer

We always liked to have a real Christmas tree so my mom would bundle up my brother and me, and we'd head down over the hill with my dad who was armed with a saw and some baler twine.

Keep in mind, we didn't really have a forest dense with beautifully shaped evergreens, but more like a few super tall, spindly pine trees. Nonetheless, we would assess each tree and decide on the "perfect" one, which more often than not required my dad to climb up and cut off the top.

He'd climb back down, then tie the baler twine to the bottom branches, and the other end around my brother's and my waists. We'd have to pull the tree back up the hill through the deep snow like sled dogs. Speaking of dogs, one year I distinctly remember carrying some of our farm puppies in my coat to share in the holiday cheer.

When we'd proudly bring our snow covered tree top to the front porch to show my mom, she would kindly say it was beautiful, if perhaps a bit big.

Then my dad would get a white five-gallon bucket from the barn (which undoubtedly had cow manure on it) filled with a few bricks and begin sawing off half the lower branches so it would fit into the bucket, as we tried to hold the tree upright.

Funny, isn't it, how much bigger Christmas trees are when you get them inside the house? Ours would take up half the room, often with lots of holes and spaces between the branches.

But we'd put on some Christmas music and decorate that tree with our mix of homemade and sentimental ornaments, and enjoy it for the whole Christmas season.  PTD

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