Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Advent Calendar - The Christmas Tree

Growing up, our Christmas tree was always an artificial one. I would guess it was probably purchased for my first Christmas in 1974. It had all the mod cons of the era - a wooden pole centre with drilled holes into which we would poke the individual branches (essentially sticks constructed of twisted wire with some green and silver tinsel bits poking out of them in a somewhat threadbare fashion). If I'm not mistaken it was the same tree all the way up until I went away to university in the early 1990s, when it was replaced with a top-of-line model (one for my parents, one for me, we have matching trees!). I believe Mum was in charge of putting it up and taking it down, on the appropriate days of course, and I'm sure she let us help decorate it - then probably fixed it up when we weren't looking!

In contrast, both my parents had real trees each year as children (they tell me there was no such thing as artificial ones back then so that wasn't an option). There was some confusion about the exact type of tree "a Christmas tree" might have been but evidently it would be some kind of fir tree or pine tree. My Nana (Mum's Mum) would complain about the mess from the tree - I know that when I would ask why we had an artificial tree and not a real tree I was told that real trees were too messy!

In England the Christmas tree first popped up in Victorian times - I can't imagine the majority of our Wing ancestors would have had one. The fashionable set would have followed Victoria and Albert's lead, of course, but the fashionable set were far and few between round Wing!


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