The touch, the feel and the smell of a Christmas tree

Published 3:13 pm Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I had an assignment that required me to hang out at the Flower Center Nursery.

Their Christmas trees were set to arrive and I was to write a story about them coming in.

At first, I wasn’t that excited about doing the story, since the trees were coming in at 8 a.m.

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I mean who wants to get up and go to work on a holiday weekend, especially that early in the morning?

As a result, I decided to make it easy on myself and just threw on a pair of jeans and a cap for the job.

I know the owners, and during the spring and summer months when I had been working out in the yard and needed something from their garden center, I had shown up dripping in sweat and looking way worse than I did on this particular day.

The drive from my house to the Flower Center Nursery is not long and once there, I was really glad I had been tasked with the assignment.

Not only did it smell wonderful and get me in the Christmas spirit, it was fascinating watching the guys unload the trees from the 18-wheeler.

Wrapped in string, the trees were placed on the ground in piles by height.

Obviously, I had to ask them about being covered in sap.

Who remembers Chevy Chase’s character in “Christmas Vacation” after he cut down the tree in his yard and afterward, everything was sticking to his hands.

While sticky for a while, the guys said the sap did wash off, but smelling like a Christmas tree lingered a bit longer.

After all the trees had been unloaded and counted, the nursery’s employees began to set the trees up and hang them from a wooden canopy.

The site was amazing, making me feel as if I were standing in an evergreen forest.

The really fun part of my story was to return to the nursery later once customers began to show up and get their thoughts on buying just the right tree.

At first, I was afraid to butt in with questions since most of the customers were deep in thought deciding on a tree, but as a reporter, I made the plunge.

I stuck out my hand, introduced myself and asked them about buying a Christmas tree.

The height of the tree seemed to be the most pertinent feature they were all looking for and then of course how full it was.

One mom had her children there and they were having fun weaving in and out of the trees.

As a mom, I know it was probably driving her nuts that they were being so active, but hey, it’s not every day you get to go tree shopping. Those little guys were excited.

The excitement was contagious and for half a second, I thought about buying a real tree.

Years ago, we decided to go the way of an artificial tree due to the massive amount of sunlight my house gets.

In addition to the sun, the heat that would come through the windows would dry the tree out long before Santa was to arrive.

It was sad at first to know I wouldn’t have that wonderful tree smell in my house, but thankfully, there are some really good candles out there that mimic the fragrance.

According to the History.com website, the Germans are credited for the first Christmas tree tradition.

Initially, America was slow to accept what the early settlers called “pagan symbols,” but in 1846 the popular Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert were sketched in the Illustrated London News standing with their children around a Christmas tree. This, then, made having a Christmas tree not only fashionable in Britain, but also for the fashion-conscious East Coast American Society.

This past weekend, I put up my artificial tree. All went well until I got to the lights.

Somehow, when I took the tree down last year, I disconnected connections that weren’t supposed to be disconnected and it took me more than five hours to figure out how to get all the lights to work.

Once again, I was reminded of “Christmas Vacation” when the lights finally all came on. I had that same euphoric feeling Clark Griswold had when he figured out the problem with his lights.

Jingle-ling-a-ling-ling!

Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at terri.frazier@vicksburgpost.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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