Those of you who read this column regularly know that I do indeed have a chocolate obsession. Some may even consider it to be a chocolate “problem.”
Well, in the spirit of the season, I must confess another obsession: I have a real thing for Christmas trees. With the Festival of Trees coming up on Friday night at the Electric City Trolley Museum, I started to think about where my love of the tree is rooted (pun intended), because the Christmas tree has always been one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.
Although they never complained, I suspect this drove my family nuts. As soon as the last fork hit the plate on Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to know when we would be making our trip to Jeffer’s Tree Farm in Lennox (a drive that, as a kid, felt like it was 2-days long. I packed snacks). I also was the one to open discussion on what variety of tree we might select – a Douglas Fir? Blue Spruce? traditional Pine?
Ahhh, all good.
My grandfather supported this tree obsession 100 percent. In fact, we may be able to trace this characteristic back to his DNA because he, too, suffered from a severe case of Christmas tree-itis each year. He couldn’t wait to set the tree up, and he never wanted to take it down. Around the end of January (I kid you not), as Grandma swept up yet another pile of fallen needles underneath the scraggly branches of what used to be a vibrant, full tree, she would plead with him. “Bob, please. Take this thing down! What are you going to do? Put hearts on it for Valentine’s Day?”
Hmmm, now there’s an idea. He thought a Valentine’s Day tree would be grand. And if it wouldn’t have been a fire hazard, I think he would have taken her up on that idea.
But as tree crazed as Grandpa was, I took it one step further as an adult. I’m not quite sure how it happened that I was at a tree farm – alone – one year, but this particular voyage resulted in me bringing home four trees. Yes, four. They were having a sale, so I only went over budget a little bit, and I thought it would be nice to have a dining room tree; a living room tree; a library tree and, of course, a tree welcoming guests into the front hallway. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
A neighbor dubbed mine the “house of trees” that year because he could see each one lighting up the property on his nightly walk.
Between the multiple trees incident and my tendency to buy trees at least 15-feet tall, suitable for the Incredible Hulk to lug around, I have since been banned from setting foot on a tree farm without an escort.
My family may be able to keep me away from the tree farm (and I do mean may be), but they can’t stop me from attending the Festival of Trees. In fact, they are encouraging my attendance and I want to invite all of you to join me. This year’s theme is the Art of the Tree, and will feature a lovely exhibit of creatively-decorated Christmas trees. If you find joy in this holiday tradition the way I do, you’ll be in your glory.
The opening reception will be held Friday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Trolley Museum on Cliff St. The event will be catered by Wall St. Deli, with wine provided by Maiolatesi winery, and entertainment by Kriki. Tickets are $20, and all proceeds go to a very worthy cause, Toys for Tots.
Now, without further adieu, I have an “appointment” I need to get to â¦. and don’t try to follow me!
That’s the holiday scoop. Thanks for reading, and I’ll meet you here again next week.
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