If you had driven down South Simmons Avenue in East Los Angeles back in 1950 at Christmas time and passed a little white adobe house at 1318 and stopped and looked in the window you would have seen what looks like a Charlie Brown-like Christmas Tree. Frail and sparse. No more that a half dozen colored lights with a garland of popcorn and a few strands of tinsel. Just a four-foot tree sitting on our coffee table covered at the base with an old white sheet to give it that standing in snow look.
However over the years my parents bought bigger trees. Some of which was real and some not. We bought a white plastic tree that looked just like a plastic tree and set it up for three or four following Christmases. Then we bought an aluminum tree that looked as if the ends and tips exploded in to an aluminum foil mushroom. Not sure what we were accomplishing there. Had it for about another two or three Christmases. Then we bought a green plastic tree looking very much like a real Douglas fir. Easy to set up and store.
Then much later after Sheba and I were married we drove up into the Sierras east of Sacramento and found a tree farm up US-50, parked our car, took out a regular carpenter saw, and set afoot looking for the perfect tree. People were scattered all over this tree farm also looking for a nice tree. Standing out in a clearing was a well shaped tree no one seemed to be looking at. I walked all around it and thought “this looks perfect.” Then I asked the tree farm guy how much for this tree. He told me “seven bucks but you need to cut the base at an angle.” So I gave him his money and took home a perfect seven foot tree. It almost touched the ceiling.
Finally to quote my granddaughter, back when she was about four-years old we asked her what Christmas Trees are for. She quickly said, “To be not touch.” So there. Merry Christmas.