For the past five Christmases, I have lived alone, and while I enjoy the season, the celebration and the spiritual connections, I couldn’t get all worked up about decorating my own space.
After all, I am away from home most of the day. I come home, make a sandwich, turn out the lights and go to sleep. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for singing Christmas carols and drinking hot, cinnamon flavored drinks.
Now is maybe the time to smell the roses a bit or, in this case, the Fraser fir Christmas tree. My significant other has encouraged me.
Last year in my apartment in town, I rushed out to get an artificial Christmas tree only hours before a Christmas celebration. It stood about 3 feet high, and had lights already attached. All I did was slide the plastic legs onto the plastic base, pull the wire limbs down into a nice shape and plug it in. It really was nice, but I do live in the Christmas tree capital of the universe or at least North Carolina. My friend Scott Ballard from West End Wreaths favored me with two wonderfully smelling wreaths for the office last year, and that went a long way to encourage me to go all the way and buy a cut tree grown in Ashe County.
Recently driving toward Boone on U.S. 221, I was behind a truckload of Christmas trees from a local farm. I had imaginings of the trees going to a lot down the mountain somewhere, to South Carolina, Georgia or Florida. My friend Richard picks up extra money between Thanksgiving and Christmas managing tree lots in Florida for a local grower.
On our southbound trek, we soon were passed by a truckload of trees headed north. For some reason it struck me as odd that all these trees would be going in all directions. Ashe County trees evidently go lots of places bringing money back here from all over the nation. West End Wreaths workers on the weekend after Thanksgiving were steadily packaging and shipping wreaths as families tromped up and down hillsides looking for trees.
I was also struck by the number of trees going down the road on the tops of vehicles. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, it seemed at least every other vehicle I passed had one or more trees strapped to the roof.
I had chosen a tree for my new home south of town. Were these people with multiple trees on their cars decorating more than one tree at their homes? I don’t know that I’m going to be doing that any time soon. Maybe they are taking an Ashe County tree to grandma or neighbors who couldn’t make the trip themselves.
Perhaps they want to make sure their neighbors can enjoy a real tree with a real fragrance and the real memories that go along with it and the really good family times that surround our traditional Christmas celebrations.
That’s what I’m looking forward to.
Lonnie Adamson is Publisher/Editor of the Jefferson Post.