Memories of Christmas trees past


The Thanksgiving holiday has passed and now the focus is on Christmas.

I’m at a pinnacle of life where I can reflect on the preparations made at different levels of my life and appreciate the changes, some subtle and some obvious.

When I was very young, I recall my parents did not purchase the tree or even decorate until just a few days before Christmas, sometimes Christmas Eve.

My dad bought a cut tree and then hung the strings of bulbs, the type that if one went out, they all did. We girls would place on the tree, some of our hand made decorations or some we made at school. These trees had to be watered regularly but in time the needles fell off.

When we lived on the farm, we would bring up one of the live Pine trees that we had helped our father plant one cold Good Friday. These trees didn’t dry out as rapidly and they smelled so nice. After Christmas the tree would be replanted with the 299 we planted near our woods.

I also remember the popularity of the silver trees that would glisten and shine with the slow turning colored lights placed on the floor and focused on the tree. Although we never owned one, I thought they were beautiful and added a different touch to the holidays

While raising our children we bought a tree about two or three weeks before the holiday, usually from one of the groups selling them in the Cardington Park or the fairgrounds. The lights were tiny filaments, some on a blinking timer. Tiring of cleaning up the needles that I found during the following year, we resorted to the artificial tree with strings of all clear lights. We just fold up the branches and place it back in the box for the next year. That remains my style of tree.

Decorations on the tree today include some that my husband and I had on our first tree – some that were hand made by family members, and many of those that my sons made while in grade school. Some have become limp and faded but their meaning is dear to me. Ornaments that people have given to me through the years still have a place on my tree and I have every one of the Campbell Soup ornaments, each with a different theme. Of course the tree is topped, as always, with a lighted Angel – looking peacefully down at us.

There’s something about a lighted Christmas tree that touches my heart. I sit and gaze at the tree, soaking in its beauty and meaning and always reluctant to take it down.

I hope each of you have a lighted Christmas tree, be it small or large and enjoy its warmth and meaning every minute and every hour of the Christmas holiday.

100 years ago, November, 1915: The town was saddened to learn of the death of Leslie Graves, who was a “first class talent on the piano and organ.”

He was to enter the Boston Conservatory of Music and was to be married on Christmas. His death was the result of peritonitis following surgery for appendicitis. He was the pianist and organist at the M E Church (Note: the Graves family resided at 145 East Main Street. When a public auction was held from that address in the early 1940’s my father purchased the Graves’ music stand filled with the sheet music. I still have it.”

60 years ago, November, 1955: Basketball Coach Gordon Shipley named the following starting lineup for the Cardington squad: Lloyd Cook, Don Coomer, James Murphy, Larry Crum, and Jon Yake. Also named to seeing action were Olen Kaelber, Sam Gantz, Bob Harris, Ronnie Pine and Frank Levering George Shaffer was also on the team but had been injured in an automobile accident in which Jerry Healea was also injured. Shaffer was a patient at the hospital.

Bernice Hardesty was named acting postmistress at Marengo.

30 years ago; November, 1985: Annette Park of Marengo, was named chairman of the 1986 Ohio Farm Bureau Federation State Youth Committee.

Pictured was Cardington second grade teacher Chris Breckner with students Dana Waterhouse and Andy Cullen dressed as a pioneer couple for their Thanksgiving Day program.

Evelyn Long is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at [email protected].


By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel

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