Editor’s Letter Nov/Dec 2017

Oh, the memories of bringing home our family’s Christmas tree as a kid. My dad was a “go big or go home” type of Christmas

Oh, the memories of bringing home our family’s Christmas tree as a kid.

My dad was a “go big or go home” type of Christmas tree buyer—it was standard for us to have a 10-, 11- even 12-foot tree in the back of his truck.

Then, there was the most festive part of the evening—the process of bringing the tree inside and setting it up. A process that generally included cursing, lamps breaking and the dogs hiding in the garage out of fear.

Despite always getting massive trees, we never invested in a Christmas tree stand that would actually hold a large one. It took all four of us, an hour of repositioning and a few strands of fishing line attached to the wall to get the tree into a halfway decent upright position.

But later that evening, once the family arguments subsided and my mom and I had fit as many ornaments as possible onto every branch, it was worth it. A tall tree really did look great in our two-story living room. And I always loved that we had a real tree. Every year it looked a little different and was unique to that particular Christmas.

As you get ready to decorate your homes this holiday season, we are focusing on the art of decorating the “old-fashioned way” in our Gardening department. Susan Timmons looks at the history of Christmas trees and how to incorporate real greenery into your décor. You may also get some ideas from a local woman who takes Christmas very seriously. In our Home department, go on a tour of the Beelers’ iconic Georgian Colonial in Forest that starts getting its makeover before Halloween arrives.

We also have our 12th Annual “Look What I Found!” Holiday Gift Guide that I hope will encourage you to visit some of the area’s fabulous local businesses. And to focus on the real giving spirit, we are highlighting 25 of the area’s top nonprofits (as voted by the community) in our 4th Annual Giving Back Awards.

Don’t feel left out if my story above has you saying, “But, Shelley, we don’t get a real tree.”

Neither do we.

My husband and I visited a local tree farm a few years ago. We accidentally chose a white pine that was way too big and (just like my childhood) fought to get it inside and keep it upright all season long. Moving forward, we decided an artificial tree with predictable measurements would be better right now (for our marriage at least!).

But I will always look back on those real trees of my childhood with a smile. I had no idea at the time that those stressful evenings would turn into cherished memories.

Here’s to your holiday season and the real-life moments you will remember for years to come,

Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor

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