Growing up, we always had a “real” christmas tree. We would either go out and cut one (and by “we” I mean dad with me and my sister doing the choosing) from under the power lines, or buy one from the Boy Scouts at the local Garden Centre. These were fundraisers for the Boy Scouts, and for around $10 you got a nice big tree. This was before cultured and shaped trees became all the rage. Our christmas trees were tall, wide and with lots of spaces between the branches, providing ample use for garland, and the ability to see right into the tree. Lying under the tree, with my glasses off to give the lights a softness (okay, a downright bluriness), was magical.
Having grown up further north where pine trees were plentiful, they were dad’s preference. While they gave off a wonderful scent, they were prickly to decorate, not to mention hard to find further south where we were. So more often than not we ended up with mom’s preferred tree, the fir.
The tree was almost universally wet so it required a day or two on the covered front porch to dry off. Then a big bucket of dirt was put down, the tree trunk pushed into it, and appropriate strings pinned from the tree top to the walls to keep it upright. Old giftwrap paper was placed underneath to create a skirt