Our family always had one of the most fashionable Christmas trees
our hometown of Richland, Georgia. Momma was a gifted artist and
insisted that the tree in our living room be a masterpiece in
Daddy’s job was to locate and set up the tree, a live one of
and to maintain the lights; the rest of the decorating was
Occasionally trees were sold by local grocery stores but most
went to the woods to find a suitable specimen. Our parents
a cedar tree and that unique aroma is such a part of my memory.
did not have a fireplace to decorate but momma used cedar boughs
Magnolia leaves in the arrangements of fresh flowers that were
scattered throughout our home. There was always a beautiful
centerpiece for the tables in the kitchen and the dining room
plenty of bright colored candles and that wonderful accent of
artificial snow from an aerosol can.
When David and I began bringing homemade creations from school,
holiday parties and church activities, she added another tree in
family television area located in our basement and we could
that tree with whatever ornaments and handiwork we designed;
were no rules about the children’s tree.
Momma shopped for the newest designs in decorations and
countless strings of lights for the masterpiece tree. She loved
bubbling lights but they did not work correctly if they were not
level so they carefully wired each individual bubble-light to
limbs. Tinsel, also known as silver icicles, was designed to
the end of the limbs but by the second and third years, after it
spent long months in storage in giant cardboard boxes, it was
crumbled up and not particularly attractive. The new tinsel went
the living room tree and the crushed and wrinkled pieces were
scattered on the other tree.
Once the decorations were completed and the gifts were being
and displayed under the traditional tree, the making, cooking,
baking commenced. I come from a long line of sugar-loving
and Christmas was when the ladies of the Scott family baked
made candy and fashioned some of the finest desserts imaginable.
Aunt Inez made nut fingers that were sprinkled with
sugar and momma made rich chocolate fudge that was loaded with
pieces. They knew the secret to beautiful divinity candy was
creating it during humid weather.
Nanny made fruit cake that was so rich you could only eat a
piece at a time but it is not what you think. Ice-box fruit cake
Southern tradition that tastes like candy because it is prepared
pecans, crushed vanilla wafers, Eagle brand condensed milk,
and a jar of red maraschino cherries; rather than being cooked,
molded into a tube pan and refrigerated for several days while