Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Christmas Tree Tug-of-War

The first year G-Man and I were married, he bit the bullet and let me have a “real” Christmas tree. All my life we’d had cedar trees for Christmas, so to me, they meant Christmas. A lot of my happiest memories have those evergreens at the center, I just had to have one in my first home.

His family, though, bought a tree each year. (Can you imagine???) A pine or spruce or some other non-Christmassy tree (in my estimation).

So like I said, he was nice enough to let me have my way that first year. 1st-Christmas-Susan-webKinda sad what I thought of as beautiful, isn’t it? That’s me a LONG time ago, very carefully placing those silvery icicles one strand at a time on the misshapen branches.

I worked so hard to get them just right!

The next day, I came home from work and found that Gary had taken off all those icicles and tied them in clumps, so instead of a “beautiful” tree with shimmery sparkles all over, we had clusters of silver.

“Why’d you do that?” I wailed. But what I really meant was, “How dare you? That’s not the way my mama does it!”

He’d decided they didn’t show up enough placed one at a time. Leave it to a guy to give the tree more power! 🙂


You can see the silver icicle clumps in this picture. LOL. Don’t tell him I said so, but I really do like it better. 🙂

The next year, he got to have his kind of tree (I think we left off the icicles rather than have that discussion again) and the year after, I had mine and so on.

Then one year, it happened. We had our cedar tree up and decorated, when Gary started having trouble breathing. Then his throat about closed up. After all those years, he’d developed an allergy to cedar.

We got up in the middle of the night, snatched all the lights and ornaments off of it and tossed that puppy right out the back door!

Since then, we’ve had artificial trees. They don’t smell as nice (I just light a candle and who notices?) but they’ve come to be Christmas after all this time. (And the dog can’t drink all the water out of the bowl.)


Am I the only girl who thought the way Mama did something was THE RIGHT way to do it? From laying G-Man’s clothes out for him to dress in (I only did that once) to cooking a big breakfast each morning (I even did that on our honeymoon) I somehow naturally tried to be like Mom.

I’ve come to learn that her way isn’t the ONLY way to do things.

In case you’re wondering, we still don’t have icicles. 😉

So I have to ask . . . did you think your Mama’s way was The Right way when you married? Or were you a lot smarter than me?

BTW: My mama’s biscuits are the ONLY biscuits to have in coffee soup. That I know for sure! 🙂