Saturday, December 08, 2018

History Tree

The Christmas tree is up. The tree lights are on. The tree decorations are hung with care. And the memories return. I remember the Christmas trees when I was a kid on the home farm. We had no lights at the time as we had no electricity. Pa would never think of putting candles on the tree. He was afraid of fire. He allowed no candles in the house, except for those that appeared on birthday cakes. Our tree was beautiful with big, shiny ornaments that my mother carefully stored away and brought out in early December to hang on the tree.

I must have been about four years old when I remember spotting a toy barn under the tree on Christmas along with toy cows and horses. It was likely the following year that I received my first and only toy train. It included a half dozen little red metal cars, and a black, wind-up locomotive. I still have that special little train, which I played with for years. It still works; it was built to last and last it did.

Today, and for the past several decades, our Christmas tree and its decorations have become a family history tree. Each year, Ruth writes down the essential happenings for the year and puts the information in a little matchbox that we hang on the tree. There are also unique ornaments for each of our children, grandchildren, and great grand grandchildren. To find the history of our family—we have three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren—inspect our Christmas tree.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Christmas trees can become history trees.


December 15, 10 a.m. to 3:p.m. Macfarlanes, Sauk City. Presentation, radio show, and book signing.


Christmas is just around the corner. Order your signed Apps books and DVDs for Christmas presents from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose. Phone: 920-622-3835 for prices and ordering.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984

The following DVDs are available for purchase at the library. Each is about one-hour long and each was aired on Public TV.

• One Room School, Based on the book, One-Room County Schools.

• Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps, based on the book, The Quiet Season.

• Jerry Apps A Farm Story, based on Every Farm Tells a Story

• The Land with Jerry Apps, based on Whispers and Shadows.

• Never Curse the Rain, based on the book with the same title.

1 comment:

Carroll Londoner said...

Love the story of your childhood memory of Christmas and the Christmas tree without lights because your house was without lights Jerry.
Very different from my own growing up in a huge metropolitan area in the 1930s in Los Angeles.