The biggest tree I ever had was a mammoth Christmas tree. The tradition of having a real Christmas tree for me began in my twenties. I was living with my best friend Trina at the time. We wanted to get a real tree. The first tree we decided to get was a massive 7-foot tree. In order to get that tree in the apartment it took a lot of effort from Trina, my friend Garcia and myself. It was beautiful.
Once it was in the apartment, getting it in the stand was a whole other ball game, it took a lot of strength, maneuvering, pushing, pulling but we managed. Once it was at its full height in our living room we were honestly amazed. I don’t think we knew the tree would take two days to fall and really spread out. Needless to say we had to move our couches, as the tree was as wide as it was tall.
The next step was decorations. Twenty-three years ago dollar stores were not as popular as they are now. So we had a few thins that our families had given us but our mammoth tree looked so bare. We were young, we both worked for the same company, but we also didn’t have extra money to be frivolous with decorations.
So we had to be creative. I thought of my keychain collection. For years when friends would travel and ask what they would like for me to bring them back I always asked for a keychain. They’re small and inexpensive and can be a fun thing to collect. I added all my various key chains to the tree here and there. It looked pretty cool.
Trina decided she was going to add her baseball caps. We just kept adding things that we already had. They weren’t necessarily Christmas ornaments but they were little parts of who we were. They were parts of us shared on the branches of that tree. It was an awesome tree. I remember Trina had her couch and I had mine, we sipped tea and giggled as we watched our favourite holiday movies.
Life was simpler back then and we had no idea where our paths would take us. We are still the best of friends all these years later, although we live miles apart, in different countries. The love I have for her will never, ever change.
Much like our first real Manny the Mammoth Christmas tree.