~Image Credit~As a child, decorating the Christmas tree was the most magical part of Christmas. My two sisters and I would accompany our mom to the Christmas tree lot to help choose just the right one. This was done in the cold winter weather of South Dakota, with frosty breath, mattered hands, and snow crunching underfoot.
We would bring the chosen tree home and set it in the garage and wait eagerly for the appointed night when Mom would finally give her blessing to bringing it inside. This was never before December 10th, and sometimes as late as the 15th, not like nowadays where Christmas trees are often up on homes by Thanksgiving.
A corner of the living room would be cleared of furniture so that the Christmas tree could occupy this place of honor, and then would come the fun of unpacking boxes of Christmas ornaments and untangling cords of lights - the old fashioned one with big colored bulbs, and testing them to make sure they all worked before being strung on the tree. Mom did the lights, we girls hung the ornaments under her direction, and several packages of silver tinsel were draped strand by strand across each branch until the whole tree shimmered, and most often the carpet below did as well. And at the very last the beautiful angel which sat in a cloud of spun glass, was placed on top.
Then, when all the empty boxes had been picked up and the room put in order, the time for magic came. The lights would be turned off, and the tree would be lit for the first time. As children the glow of the colored lights reflecting off the shiny ornaments and tinsel was breathtaking.
The sweet memories of Christmas trees from my childhood will remain with me always, and I think that decorating the Christmas tree is the frosting on the cake of Christmas, very much like the flourish of placing "the dot on the i."
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