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Christmas trees
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81 posts
Nov 17, 2012
4:30 PM
I was out today picking out a Christmas tree at our NC Food lion with my Wife and kids, and I was thinking back when I was small in the 60s and my mom and dad took us kids to Trotwood to pick out our tree, It was on a lot with bright light strung over head and a trash can with a hot fire burning. I remembered how cold it was and sometime we had snow falling and all the trees had scrap wood nailed to the bottom of the tree to keep them standing up. One by one my dad would shake the tree to make sure it was fresh those were the days:) Now I'm at food lion trying to pick the right tree and there all tied up with string and no one around to help you load and tie LOL. Oh also when young we got our tree in Dec not Nov!
395 posts
Nov 18, 2012
1:38 PM
My Scout troop sold Christmas trees in the parking lot of Faith Presbyterian Church for a couple of years.

Those times I have been back to Dayton from 1971 to 2006 were almost always for the Christmas or - less often - Thanksgiving. Lordy, Ohio winters are SO DARN COLD! There was something bracing about being out there under a gunmetal gray sky in the gloaming dusk, flurries swirling about and the scent of the trees mingling with the aroma of the wood burning in the warming barrel as we lugged trees to customers' cars and tied them to the roofs while the background was filled with the murmur of men debating the merits of Douglas Fir over Scotch Pine and I never would have believed in my wildest dreams that the scene would inspire me to throw everything I ever learned in English class right overboard and write one hideous run-on sentence about the whole shebang.


Anyway, my folks gave up on live trees about the time I was 10 and got one of those aluminum trees lit by a "color wheel". Dad said it was because that was less of a fire hazard, and he was right, up until the night the color wheel's motor burned out andstopped. The floodlight melted the blue section and filled the livingroom with smokke and the stench of burning plastic. P freaking U!!
422 posts
Nov 19, 2012
5:12 AM
Allen - great memories. Not sure where these memories are from because we moved from Fairborn to Memphis for 1954-1959 but I remember tree lots like in the movie Christmas Story. Somewhere along the line my dad did the same thing, we got an aluminum tree that rotated and had that multi color wheel. But do you remember when you could buy a live tree and have it sprayed with fake snow in various colors? Pink Christmas tree??? Yuck. I also remember the bubble lights on the tree. After they heatedup, they had a colored glass vertical tube that bubbles would float up in. Pretty neat back then.

87 Buick GN
125 posts
Nov 19, 2012
3:15 PM
Christmas trees are one of my most favorite memories!
At our house the tree selection and trimming were always the same year after year.It was quite a production that we children looked forward to with anticipation.
This is how it went every Christmas.About a week before the big day my father would bring home a huge Balsam that would have to be kept outside in a bucket of water until Christmas Eve.My mother preferred a Balsam because she thought they "smelled like Christmas".
On Christmas Eve my father would bring the tree inside,trim the trunk and get it into the holder.Before it could be watered my mother would have him turn and turn the tree until she was satisfied that the correct side was facing the room.The tree was always placed in a corner because my father would wrap wire around the trunk and then attach the wire to screw eyes he had placed in the molding along the ceiling.This was done because twice in one year my older brother had tried to climb into the tree which caused it to fall over!This happened long before I was born but my father never forgot!
After the tree was wired and watered the real production began.My father put the lights on in his very precise way.Lights on almost every branch from trunk to tip while we sat out of the way and watched the transformation!
When the lights were finished the glass ornaments were next to be hung by both parents on just the top half of the tree.We watched and waited for our turn to hang the plastic balls on the bottom half of the tree.No little hands were ever cut by broken Christmas ornaments at our house!My mother would direct us in our ornament placement and help with the ones that were for the back of the tree.There was always much chatter about who did the best job among us children and of course my parents would praise each of us for our exceptional work!
Now came the part I loved the most.My mother and only my mother would hang the tinsel one piece at a time,just so and perfect!She would pull the strand from the cardboard and make sure that it would hang down from the branch without tangling into another strand.It seemed to take hours before she was satisfied that the tree was complete.I know it was only a matter of maybe half an hour but it seemed forever to a little girl!
The tree was finished and all the ornament boxes were put away.We never had a real tree skirt but used a white sheet instead.After the mess was all cleaned up and the floor swept clean we were allowed to very carefully lie down and scoot under the branches so we could gaze up through the tree in all it's glory!
To this day I can close my eyes and see that beautiful sight,smell that fresh Balsam tree and be a little girl again!
230 posts
Nov 19, 2012
7:01 PM
Cilla, you and I could be sisters! Almost the same at my house. I really miss being able to have tinsel on our tree - we have cats and they won't leave it alone and eat it too.
12 posts
Nov 22, 2012
4:42 PM
Cilla, loved your story. Brought back so many memories of what my kids and I did, except we put our tree up about a week before Christmas and I was in charge of the Christmas tree business. I don't remember one time that my husband helped trim the tree although he would go with me to buy it and he would get out the big iron stand that my brother welded for me, and get the tree into it for us. We were too busy on Christmas Eve to trim the tree. That's when we celebrated at the Grandparents and family get-together.

When I was a child during the "great depression", we couldn't afford a tree and my brothers would go to the lot at closing time on Christmas Eve and get one for free. We always went to church on Christmas eve and I always looked forward to that, more for the fact that they always gave us kids a small box of hardtack candy and an orange. The orange tasted so good because it was the only one we got all year. We always received a basket of goodies and toys for us kids from The Salvation Army during those desperate years and I never pass a Salvation Army to this day without putting something in it. We so appreciated everything and those Christmas memories are the ones I treasure the most. Treasure the time you have with your family because as Dr. Phil says "When your family is gone, they're gone for a long time" and my parents, siblings, and husband are all gone now. I'm thankful this Thanksgiving for my wonderful children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great, great grandchildren. I hope they are all making their own great memories. I sometimes wonder if their memories will be as great as mine. We live in such a fast-paced world and it seems that no one takes the time to create memories.

Last Edited by on Nov 22, 2012 4:44 PM
luv my dayton
180 posts
Nov 23, 2012
7:01 PM
Many years ago when my mother was still working and my father and youngest sister were home together they decided to go buy a real tree and get the house ready for the holiday. My sister took some of the scrap from the tree that Dad had trimmed and placed it into a jar and then found some small christmas balls and placed them inside with the greens. She placed the lid on and used as a decoration. Many decades later we were cleaning out Mothers home to put up for sale and she found this display in the coal cellar. She pulled the lid off and we had the most wonderful fragrance come from inside that jar as it had been sealed tightly for years. Took us back to a snowy Saturday and the memory of time with Dad. Now Mother had passed and all we grew up with was being discarded, given to Salvation army and to the neighbors who had been there to look in on Mom. Sad part about the jar was once we popped the lid off it totally ruined what had been a wonderful memory for us fragrance and all.
7 posts
Aug 16, 2013
7:03 PM
A ritual every year, 30's and 40's, a trip to the Fairgrounds and in one of the buildings they sold trees, I can still remember that fantastic aroma in that building. Dad always bought one too long, had to trim the top off and the house we lived in had HIGH ceilings, down on Brown Street.
50 posts
Aug 29, 2013
3:29 PM
bentz, I too remember the lot in Trotwood where we got our tree. This was the early 60's and I talked my parents into letting my brother and I go to pick out the tree ourselves. We must have spent an hour walking the, probably, three rows of trees because I knew that it had to be perfect. We finally found THE tree, perfectly even all around with no thin spots and no loose needles. The old guy, probably 18, running the lot threw some twine around it and we put it in the wagon and pulled it home. I'm proud to say that the tree was a big hit. It looked beautiful in the living room sitting in the picture window covered with ornaments that were older than I was. This too was in December, probably one week before Christmas. I can still remember lying on the floor under the tree looking up into the limbs with the glow of the colored light shining on the trunk and the ornaments. In all the years since I have never had anything other than a real (albeit dead ) tree. I can still remember our brief flirtation with the aluminum tree and the lighted color wheel. I shudder at the thought. Amazingly enough though if you check on eBay those old aluminum trees are going for major dollars these days. It just goes to show you that, today as back then, there no accounting for taste.
blue J
118 posts
Sep 04, 2013
1:20 PM
I also remember the lot in Trotwood- we went there to get our tree every year when I was a little kid, in the late '70s. I remember the smell of the smoke rising out of the trash can fire, and the chill in the air. It seems like I also remember hot cider or hot chocolate being served there as well, but I might be mixing that up due to a memory of something else; I'm not sure.

It's interesting to me that we went out to Trotwood to get our tree every year, because we lived in Kettering. All the same, though, it's a great, great memory.

At my house now, we use the same tree that my in-laws bought before my wife and her brother were even born (and now, it is the only Christmas tree that our children have ever known). We still have the original box for it and everything. This year will be its forty-fourth continuous year of service.
old school dancer
12 posts
Nov 18, 2013
2:27 PM
anyone remember Ludlow Falls at christmas?
107 posts
Nov 18, 2013
2:43 PM
Ludlow falls! Do! remember went there as a kid many times. The fall were neat when the water was frozen and snow on the ground! :)
3 posts
Jan 18, 2014
4:52 PM
There are so many amazing memories I'll treasure about Dayton at Christmas. I grew up in Indiana and my grandmother lived in Dayton for 50 years. She worked at Dafler's Pharmacy on 3rd and Terry for almost as long as she lived there. Christmas in Dayton in 70s and 80s was as close to a big city Christmas as I've ever gotten. The courthouse square. Rikes/Lazarus, Elder Beermans and Sears (my first big stereo purchase) downtown. The annual parade. My dad would always try to get parked in the round parking garage for Rikes/Lazarus and we would get down to sidewalk at Rikes/Lazarus for the parade, as close to the bakery there as we could get. I remember how Rikes had the AMAZING Christmas window displays and the entire floor that was decked out for the Big Man himself. I remember when the Arcade Square was still mostly open and decorated for the holidays. Hammer's sold tobaccos and coffees and teas, imported cigars and cigarettes, (I bought my first pack of Dunhills there; I've recently quit)clocks and other curio that you could order through them (THANKS FOR KILLING THAT JOY, INTERNET!) and Ludlow Falls! How AWESOME! And we also took in Kings Islands Winterfest for a few years. Now the Arcade with Hammers, Rikes and Sears downtown are gone. My grandmother's drug store; where I took my first real job after high school is/was(?)a pawn shop; my grandmother passed in 2005, 1 month after my father tragically passed as well and I heard that Ludlow Falls stopped the same year as well, Now all I have left are a few pics that have survived from those things and the memories that I hope to hold on to as best as I can as I get older. I haven't been in Dayton since 2003 and I often wonder these days that if I came back up there. Would I still recognize it?
luv my dayton
526 posts
Jan 19, 2014
12:59 PM
Have to say that from what you described as things you remembered from long ago, then yes,things have drastically changed. Not all for the worst but for us older folks it doesn't seem like the same town and a sadness stirs when you pass an area and see the places gone and probably torn down.

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