Christmas was always a very big deal at the Pifer house. As I recall, it was my mother, who set the tone for this holiday. Pulling off an amazing Thanksgiving Dinner was just a “warm-up” for mom!
The week after Thanksgiving, it seemed as though she kicked into high gear. Mom would start baking every conceivable goody you could imagine; all kinds of fudge, mouthwatering peanut brittle, cookies by the basket full. She made gingerbread cookies and even gingerbread houses!
She would make these things she called “gobs;” she took two small fluffy chocolate cakes and put the most delectable cream sandwiched inside . . . these were just too good!
Not only would she be baking up a storm, she would begin decorating; to say mom was into Christmas would be an understatement.
Mom always wanted the perfect Christmas tree
There was a point of contention that came up almost every year and that was the dreaded “Christmas Tree.” You see, mom always desired to have a nice, as we called it, store-bought Christmas tree. You know; the kind they sell every year; the ones perfectly shaped and easy to decorate.
Mom got this desire for the perfect tree, from her own mother; we called her, Nana. While I never spent a Christmas with Nana, mom would show us pictures of her Christmas trees . . . they were stunning, just stunning.
Mom always wanted to get a tree worthy of decorating, and it was rare that she got one like that. You see, my dad had a hard time throwing down good money for something that would only be used for a few weeks and then burned out in the backyard.
Dad would say something like; “I’ll be dad-burned if I’ll spend good money on a Christmas tree when we are surrounded by the forest. I’ll go out and cut one down; which he often did!
Some of the trees he would come home with were atrocious!
Well, one particular Christmas, mom was determined to get a store-bought tree.
I think my dad was anticipating her request and thought he would hurry up and go out in the woods and get her a tree before she had a chance to ask him for a store bought one.
The tree dad brought home, was one of the ugliest trees we ever saw! It was too short and had huge gaps in the branches! No matter how you turned the tree, it looked awful! Mom told dad, “Moe, you get that tree out of the living room and go down to Sterling Run and get me a real Christmas tree!”
Dad goes for a store-bought Christmas tree.
Dad, knowing he had been had; grumbled and said, “Oh all right.” So dad took the tree outside and jumped in his truck and roared off to Sterling Run; about 3 miles away to pick up a store-bought tree!
He went down and picked out a beautiful Scotch pine, tossed it into the bed of the pickup truck, threw a rope around in and hurried home. What he did not know, was that after about a quarter mile, the wind caught the tree and it fell out of the back of the truck.
The rope, which was tied to the truck, had a large knot on the other end, and it just so happened that the knot was stuck between two branches near the base of the Christmas tree. So dad blistered home about sixty miles an hour with the tree dragging 10 feet behind the truck.
Mom, anxiously waiting for her beautiful tree, was waiting for dad to return. Looking down the road, here comes dad; driving the old International pick-up truck, barreling around the corner. Something just did not look right though; where was the tree!
Mom steps off the porch as dad wheels into the driveway; dad still clueless about the tree. Mom, walking towards the truck, stops as dad comes to a halt; with her hands on her hips, says in a loud voice; “Moe, what did you do!”
Dad jumps out of the truck saying loudly; “well, I went and got you your tree!” He spun around to untie the tree, only to see it on the ground, hardly a pine needle left on it!
Now, dad was not one to blush, but I am sure his face turned several different shades of red; not sure, if he was embarrassed or angry! Mom just stood there, arms crossed, trying hard not to burst out laughing!
Yep, that was the year we had three Christmas trees; mom got a real nice store-bought tree to boot!
Oh, the memories!