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Christmas tree selection and safety

For our first Christmas in Bavaria, Jim and I purchased a pretty tree from a shop not far from our house in Augsburg.

The tree looked lovely, but it wasn’t fresh. That fact, coupled with the mighty steam heat from old-fashioned radiators, meant that needles began shedding immediately. The only way to dispose of the tree was through a large living room window. While I stood lookout to make sure no one was passing by, Jim pitched the tree out onto the sidewalk below. By the time it hit the concrete, the tree was needleless.

The next Christmas found our family at a nearby forest that permitted the cutting of trees for the holidays. Snow covered the ground and the trees and began to fall again before Jim tied the tree to the car roof. The boys were thrilled. We thawed and dried the tree in the bathtub. It lasted well into January, despite the steam heat, and may have been the most perfect Christmas tree we’ve ever had.

Many of you remember similar family stories of live Christmas...

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