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My Christmas tradition - "Yes dear"

A column by the Editor
web posted December 1, 2008
Photo: Our 2007 Christams Tree
COLUMN – Thanksgiving Day is past and Christmastime is upon us. It is time to pull all those Christmas decorations out of the attic and begin the annual untangling and testing of lights, and my patience. In the past, this was a time I did not look forward to at all, mainly because my beautiful bride loves it so deeply and has a tendency to go overboard. However, as I grew older and wiser I learned it was better to just say, “Yes dear”, and let have her way. I also learned never to ask to see the bills. I have high blood pressure and it just is not worth a stroke at my young age.

Every June when we head out to our time-share condominiums in Sapphire Valley in North Carolina for my only vacation of the year (my wife and children take others) we have to make at least one trip over to the Highlands to visit The Christmas Store and buy more decorations for Christmas. Her favorite? Santa heads. Yes, my wonderful bride likes to decorate our family Christmas tree with decapitated Santa’s in addition to other items. I don’t ask why, I just go along for the ride.

In retrospect I guess I am to blame for this since I designed and built our home that included a vaulted 18’ 9” ceiling in the family room. As such our Christmas tree also grew. No more being constrained by the usual six-foot tree that required very few lights and decorations. No, the smallest tree we have had over the past decade was ten feet and the tallest, at least to date, has been fourteen feet. So much for standing on a chair to put on the star, now it takes a twelve-foot ladder. Our children jumped right on board. Now a regular tree is called a “Charlie Brown” tree, alluding to the “It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas” when Charlie Brown returned with a sapling for their tree.

Now it takes days to bring down all the decorations, lights, wreaths, manger scenes, candles, and other accouterments. I do not understand what good it is to have candles that you are not allowed to light - and I dare not ask and just say, "Yes dear".

Then it is off to find the family Christmas tree. Something my wife refers to as finding the “Griswold Family Christmas Tree” and claims that I remind her of "Clark W. Grizwold" played by Chevy Chase in the movie Christmas Vacation. I’m not sure why because we do not drive out into the middle of nowhere, traipse around in knee-deep snow, and then choose a tree we have to dig up by hand.

For almost a decade we have traveled to Charlie and Nancy Mills’ Clarks Hill Christmas Tree Farm located just off Garrett Road on Bennie Dorn Road in the western part of Edgefield County. My bride is strict on maintaining traditions, she even invents more each year, so it is with the search for the perfect tree. She is rather distraught this year since we normally go pick out a tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, but rainy weather and her being “under the weather” has set this date back a few days.

I will say I do enjoy picking out a tree (it’s the only thing I have even some minor input on the entire month).  Not to mention the hot chocolate, boiled peanuts, and other goodies the Mills’ have on hand to keep us warm and nourished as we traverse the vast rolling hills of the tree farm in rural Edgefield County, pick out the tree, and then return home with a tree hanging several feet off the back of the Tahoe.

Uh oh, I’m starting to see a correlation to the Griswold’s.

Well, I know I am in for a busy week so I had better get to work. Christmas, and my wife, are calling.

I recommend a fresh cut tree for Christmas. They will last longer and you support a local grower.
Clarks Hill Christmas Tree Farm
Open daily from 2 - 5:30 pm Monday - Friday
Saturday 9 am - 5:30 pm
Sunday from 1 - 5:30 pm

Wright’s Tree Farm
(See their ad at the top of this page for more information)

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