Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Christmas Fact #7

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Christmas Fact #7

    Strong conservationist President Teddy Roosevelt forbid having the large Christmas tree in the White house.
    He probably had a point.
    In those days Christmas trees were from the naturally grown trees found on the farms and lands. Not much thought was given to replacing them.
    These days close to 40 million Christmas trees are produced each year and are grown in just about every state in the US. California, Oregon, Washington, and North Carolina produce the most trees. In Canada, British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces support the highest concentration of Christmas tree farms. Over 1 million acres are under cultivation and the industry employs well over 100,000 people.
    Once a Christmas tree is ready for market, it’s tagged and then cut and baled. The trees are then loaded onto semi-trailers and head to market all across the country. Some North American grown Christmas trees even find their way to Greenland, the Caribbean, and Central America.
    Christmas tree farms don’t just benefit the tree farmer and the seasonal consumer.
    Trees help to keep our air clean and a single acre of forest produces enough daily oxygen for 18 people.
    Trees are used as shelter belts around homes and crops, they help stop erosion and of course provide habitats for innumerable animal and bird species. Most cities and towns also support a Christmas tree re-cycling program. The resultant chips and fibres contain valuable mulch for farmers fields and for flower and vegetable gardens.
    Last edited by Lark Parker; 12-01-2010, 06:12 PM.
    sigpic
    Lark Parker --Just an innocent possum strolling down life's highway.

  • #2
    I was affected at a very young age by the cartoon, A Charlie Brown Christmas. So all my life, I have been irresistably drawn to the scrawny, crappy, otherwise unloved trees. In fact, we always call it our 'Charlie Brown' tree. With enough garland, ornaments, lights and tinsel, any tree can look great. Almost.

    First Christmas in the new house (2005) I was really into the sunken living room and vaulted ceiling, with big windows all around. Total height is just over 9 feet, and of course I wanted to fill that. We quickly figured out that a tree of that size would be a real chore (and mess!) to haul in and out of the house... not to mention what bigger trees cost(!). So we went with a fako tree. I bring it in from storage in an oversized duffel and put it together; even has built-in lights. We decorate it up and plug in an electric tart burner with a pine tart. Perfect. We still do a Charlie Brown tree at the other house.

    One old-timey Christmas story from my childhood:

    One year when I was about 12, my Dad and I went to get our tree. Mr. Forbes had upped the price that year to TEN DOLLARS for a tree; so Dad said, heck, we've got 89 acres, we'll just cut our own!

    So on Saturday morning he and I loaded the chainsaw in the Jeep plow truck and set out across the big field to the edge of the woods. There are only huge pines, maybe 30-40 feet tall. No problem, Dad instructed, we just cut one down and 'top' it to the size we want.

    So out comes the saw, and down comes this majestic pine tree. At this point the saw runs out of gas. We get in the Jeep and start back to the garage; but suddenly it bogs down and is stuck! So Dad sends me to get the tractor, while he has a visit to the refreshment bag. So I walk back across the field, get the saw gas can, and fire up the old Massey. We get the saw going and cut the top off the tree; perfect. We throw the tree on top of the Jeep, and hook the chain to pull the Jeep out and head home.

    Well, surprise- now the tractor is buried! Dad blames my inexperience; I blame the mushy ground. But I'm a kid, what do I know? So now we get the old wrecker- we'll park it on solid ground and winch out the tractor, then the Jeep. The only solid ground is a partial gravel path that left the wrecker at about a 70 degree angle. So we hook it up and start winching. Suddenly, the wrecker starts tipping, driver's side up. As the old truck twists, the controls jam and won't release! Dad reaches in and kills the engine, and there it sits. Tractor did not budge.

    After a couple more shots and beers, Dad has his plan: Leave the whole works until things dry up in the Spring. And we do. In May we were able to get everything out with the help of his buddy's AC. Nuttin' to it.

    Oh, and the tree? It fell upon me to drag it by hand back to the house. Best part- turns out 'topping' a big tree has a previously unexpected consequence: once we got it up in the stand, it looked like it was upside down

    To the day he died, my father absolutely loved recounting the entire debacle.

    Oh, and the tops of really big pine trees are VERY sticky.
    Proud NON-CASO

    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    Ephesians 6:10-17
    Romans 15:13
    Deuteronomy 31:6
    Proverbs 28:1

    Illegitimi non carborundum

    Comment


    • #3
      When I was about 10 yrs old , I cut Christmas Trees for my Great Uncle at his tree farm. The vehicle of choice to haul the trees was a '47 Studebaker truck.
      About three weeks before Thanksgiving I saw the first semi truck load of trees near Chicago.
      Husband of Lark VIII girl.

      Comment


      • #4
        Back in the '50's here in rural South Carolina, people thought nothing about walking in the woods, (anybody's woods), cutting down one of the plentiful cedar trees that grow like weeds around here. Today that would either get you a trespassing charge or possibly worse. Buying a christmas tree was something us poor country folks wouldn't dare think of.

        When we became old enough to go christmas tree hunting, my brothers and I set off one year for that special tree. It was a cold gray day with freezing rain and sleet pelting us the whole time. We walked over a mile and found just the right tree in someone's pasture. We took turns dragging the tree home, however, since I was the youngest and smallest, guess who ended up dragging the tree the last three-quarters of a mile home?

        My mother had to use warm towels to thaw my hands so that I could release the grip I had on that tree...and although I was in a great deal of pain, I recall a kind of sinister pleasure listening to her chew out my brothers for making me do all the work.

        I would be surprised if we all didn't have some pretty special christmas tree story. I have several.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

        Comment


        • #5
          I too well remember going with my dad to get a Christmas tree in SC. One of those cedars from someones land we didn't know. And it was OK back then.
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
            One old-timey Christmas story from my childhood:

            One year when I was about 12, my Dad and I went to get our tree. Mr. Forbes had upped the price that year to TEN DOLLARS for a tree; so Dad said, heck, we've got 89 acres, we'll just cut our own!

            So on Saturday morning he and I loaded the chainsaw in the Jeep plow truck and set out across the big field to the edge of the woods. There are only huge pines, maybe 30-40 feet tall. No problem, Dad instructed, we just cut one down and 'top' it to the size we want.

            So out comes the saw, and down comes this majestic pine tree. At this point the saw runs out of gas. We get in the Jeep and start back to the garage; but suddenly it bogs down and is stuck! So Dad sends me to get the tractor, while he has a visit to the refreshment bag. So I walk back across the field, get the saw gas can, and fire up the old Massey. We get the saw going and cut the top off the tree; perfect. We throw the tree on top of the Jeep, and hook the chain to pull the Jeep out and head home.

            Well, surprise- now the tractor is buried! Dad blames my inexperience; I blame the mushy ground. But I'm a kid, what do I know? So now we get the old wrecker- we'll park it on solid ground and winch out the tractor, then the Jeep. The only solid ground is a partial gravel path that left the wrecker at about a 70 degree angle. So we hook it up and start winching. Suddenly, the wrecker starts tipping, driver's side up. As the old truck twists, the controls jam and won't release! Dad reaches in and kills the engine, and there it sits. Tractor did not budge.

            After a couple more shots and beers, Dad has his plan: Leave the whole works until things dry up in the Spring. And we do. In May we were able to get everything out with the help of his buddy's AC. Nuttin' to it.

            Oh, and the tree? It fell upon me to drag it by hand back to the house. Best part- turns out 'topping' a big tree has a previously unexpected consequence: once we got it up in the stand, it looked like it was upside down

            To the day he died, my father absolutely loved recounting the entire debacle.

            Oh, and the tops of really big pine trees are VERY sticky.
            Are you sure your Dad didn't ghost write Christmas Vacation before he passed away, Bob? The parallels are striking....and he might have had an old Taurus wagon with a wheezing, "5-cylinder" 3.8 at the back of the lot on which to plaster the fake woodgrain paneling to display a "one of one" Taurus Squire out front.

            And you would have been well-cast as Clark's son Rusty, too...I can just see you untangling that wad of exterior lights for the massive "exterior illumination" project...

            ...now, about Cousin Eddie and you guys' trip to Wal-Mart....BP
            Last edited by BobPalma; 12-01-2010, 09:16 PM.
            We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

            Ayn Rand:
            "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

            G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Now you're talking about one of my favorite movies of all time! I have always fancied myself being Clark W. Griswold. So far I've got the concept of meaning well with unrealitic plans but screwing everything up. And Linda's got the super-hot and ever-suffering but unfailingly supportive mate down pat. Now I've got to find the right Cousin Eddie. Wonder if Jim Turner's got a Winnebago and a dog named Snots? "He's got a bit of leg-hound in him. If he lays into you it's best to just let him finish"...

              Oh, and an Aunt Bethany: "Is your house on fire, Clark?" "No, that's just the Christmas lights, Aunt Bethany." As he takes her arm to help her in the house: "Don't throw me down, Clark." "I'll try not to, Aunt Bethany".

              I'd better stop writing so much. Lark's glaring lack of response to my ramblings on his threads is deafening<G>
              Proud NON-CASO

              I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

              If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

              GOD BLESS AMERICA

              Ephesians 6:10-17
              Romans 15:13
              Deuteronomy 31:6
              Proverbs 28:1

              Illegitimi non carborundum

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: Christmas Vacation: No matter how many times you watch it, you pick up something new every time through.

                'Last time I watched it, I noted something I'd overlooked a dozen times. It's in the scene where Clark and Eddie are walking down the aisle at Wal-Mart. Eddie is piling things in the cart while talking, including huge bags of dog food for "Snots" that Clark will ultimately pay for, of course.

                Well, 'next time through, note this if you haven't already: When Eddie flops the final huge bag of dog food on the cart, right on top of a couple other bags of dog food, he plops the last bag of dog food right on top of a flimsy box of light bulbs Clark placed in the cart, a box of bulbs Clark had placed on top of what had been the upper bag of dog food before Eddie's final bag is loaded.

                Obviously, that last 40-pound bag of dog food smashes to smithereens that flimsy box of light bulbs.

                Subtle humor like that is what keeps you on your toes; you are inclined to pay attention to the verbal interaction between Clark and Eddie at that point as they converse, and not notice Eddie being so negligent as to stupidly smash a box of light bulbs under a huge bag of dog food.
                We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                Ayn Rand:
                "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
                  Oh, and the tops of really big pine trees are VERY sticky.
                  Now THERE is a Christmas Story! As Jack Lemmon said in "The Great Race", "I'd like to see the Great Leslie top THAT one!"


                  John

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks John. I shall refrain from further holiday anecdotes. Being a country boy there are more, like what happens to a tree that's set up too close to a wood stove...

                    Anyway Bob, I don't think I've ever noticed the light bulb thing. We have all our favorite Christmas movies on DVD and will be breaking them out now, and I'll watch for that. Funny thing about Christmas shows, we can watch them any time but never do unless it's the Christmas season. We did watch A Christmas Carol last week- the best one: the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim. Now comes a rotation of a half-dozen or so DVDs for the next few weekends; then they're banished to the rack until next year.

                    The circle of (movie) life.

                    Clark at the dinner table: What's that noise?

                    Eddie: Oh, that's just Snots. Probably yakking on a bone.

                    (pause)

                    There, he's got it up.

                    Proud NON-CASO

                    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                    GOD BLESS AMERICA

                    Ephesians 6:10-17
                    Romans 15:13
                    Deuteronomy 31:6
                    Proverbs 28:1

                    Illegitimi non carborundum

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X