Aluminum Christmas Trees

Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season is in full swing.  I enjoy seeing the neighborhood lights and the decorations in our house.  My wife has our tree up. I should say trees, there are too many ornaments for one tree, so we end up with one large tree and two or three small trees which spreads the spirit throughout the house.   

This is a lot different than the decorating that I remember from my childhood.  Occasionally we had a live tree but when I am visited by Ghosts of Christmas Past there is one tree that stands out and it was an aluminum tree.  It was not an artificial tree that was supposed to look like a real tree, it was a silver tree that was supposed to be futuristic, I guess in those early days of the space age we were dreaming of living like The Jetsons.

Aluminum trees began to show up in the 1950s and quickly caught on but, thankfully, just as quickly fell out of favor by the end of the 1960s.  The aluminum Christmas tree even made an appearance in the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas where Charlie Brown used it to symbolize the commercialization of Christmas.

The most enjoyable part of putting up the aluminum tree was pulling the branches out of the paper sleeves that they were stored in (I guess these kept the branches “fresh” while in storage). Branches were inserted into drilled holes in the base and voilà!  –  you had a tree that looked anything but real.  Add some colored ball-shaped ornaments and the job was finished.  No need for tinsel, that would just be redundant.  For fire safety reasons, lights were eschewed, they might cause a short.  But there was an accessory that could be added: a spot light with a rotating three color wheel!  An even more dramatic effect could be added by having a rotating tree stand.  I guess I came from a deprived childhood because we did not have the rotating stand or the rotating color wheel, But it was festive to me and it meant Christmas was coming soon.

Somehow, I managed to survive and have many joyous memories of childhood Christmases.  I enjoy the Christmas season, I enjoy our tree and its ornaments; however, I am fine with a tree that looks like a tree and I do not long to ever have another aluminum Christmas tree.

Friday Funny November 29, 2019 Black Friday Shopping Jokes

Happy Friday!  I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and now the holiday season is in full swing.  If you are heading out to do some shopping this Black Friday keep your wits and your sense of humor.  Here are a few jokes to help you do that.


I read a story about a dangerous new strain of bacteria that was been found BEFORE Thanksgiving at a local supermarket in packs of soft butter.  It seems that it spreads easily.

I ordered some German food over the internet for Thanksgiving; the sauerkraut arrived but the wurst is yet to come.

I was thinking about buying my wife a watch for Christmas.  I went to the store and asked for one with hands. The sales clerk asked “Analogue?” I said “no thanks, just a watch.”

I saw a great Black Friday deal on a digital camera.  As I weighed the good and bad, I could only see the positive points. There just aren’t any negatives.

I was considering going to a pet shop on Black Friday to purchase a rare spider but then it occurred to me that it would be easier to just pick one up on the web.

I saw a great Black Friday deal on some nifty new electric garden trimmers; it is some real cutting-hedge technology.

I noticed a Black Friday deal at the comic book store on Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Woman but I think he might just be a heroine dealer.

I was going to buy some sausages online; but the links were broken.

I bought my wife a calculator in the shape of a castle to give her for Christmas.  I am not sure if she will like it, but it’s the fort that counts.

I went to an auction on Black Friday.  It was pretty long and boring, I fell asleep and missed a lot.


‘VENI, VEDI, VISA’: I came, I saw, I did a little shopping.

Picky About Pecan Pie

Thanksgiving is so close that I can almost smell it!  The day provides a plethora of smells that slowly build over the course of the day until the much-anticipated time of feasting arrives.  Everyone has their favorite Thanksgiving dish.  For you it may be turkey or dressing or mashed potatoes or giblet gravy or sweet potatoes or oysters or homemade roles or just maybe it is dessert!  One of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving treats is pecan pie.  Not just any pecan pie- specifically my Mom’s pecan pie.  Make no mistake, my wife is a fantastic cook as evidenced by my steadily increasing waistline over the years.  But my Mom’s pecan pie has been one of my favorites since long before I had even met my wife.

Now you might label me a heretic for preferring pecan pie to pumpkin pie but perhaps I am just more enlightened.  Pumpkin pie was not served that first Thanksgiving, they may have served a pumpkin custard which was cooked and served in the pumpkin which sounds rather nasty anyway.  But I am just not a fan of pumpkin pie.  If you give me a sufficient quantity of whipped cream to go along with the pie, I can eat it, but it is not my favorite.  Honestly, doesn’t pumpkin pie seem like baby food baked in a pie crust?  Here is something for you to chew on – depending on how you define “pumpkin” there may not even be any of it in that pumpkin pie to profess to like!  When you hear the word “pumpkin” the image that pops instantly into your mind is probably a round, bright orange one like the one you purchased at Halloween to carve into a jack-o-lantern.  That kind is edible, but it is not very good for cooking.  The word “pumpkin” can apply to two of the three varieties of winter squash and within these two varieties can be found the Dickinson pumpkin which is not nearly as photogenic as the nice picture that is on the label, but does work much better for making pies.  Your can of pumpkin is most likely a Dickinson pumpkin with a misleading profile photo.

Which brings me back to pecan pie.   I much prefer pecan pie to pumpkin. But I am picky.  I do not like pecan pies that are too soupy or too hard or the crust is too dry and or the pecans are chopped into tiny pieces and almost every pecan pie I have ever purchased or been served has at least one of those issues.  But not my Mom’s pecan pie.  In my memory every one has been perfect – firm, sweet, the top covered with pecan halves, cooked just right.  I can almost taste it this very minute. 

Enjoy your pumpkin pie if you want, that will leave a few more slices of pecan pie for me.

Happy Thanksgiving!



© 2019


Friday Funny November 22, 2019

Happy Friday!  This time next week you might be up to your tonsils in Thanksgiving leftovers.  But right now I want to wet your appetite with some Thanksgiving jokes.


Did you hear about the turkey that was arrested?  Fowl play was suspected.

Thanksgiving is the day that I start my yearly training to get in shape … to play Santa Claus.

Did you hear about the turkey that was doing computer research using google, google? 

Last year I was late getting home after Thanksgiving, a policeman pulled me over for  exceeding the feed limit. 

Did you hear about the mother turkey who was so disappointed in her kids that she told them, “If your father could see you now, he would be turning over in his gravy!”

Is it true that you should not take a turkey to church because they use fowl language? 

If a Pilgrim bites into a bad piece of corn does he make a pilgrimace?

What’s the easiest way to catch a turkey?  Ask a friend to toss one to you.

I think I have an addiction to Thanksgiving leftovers, this year I am going to quit cold turkey.

Would you call someone who really, really, really likes Thanksgiving turkey a  tryptophanatic?


There’s always something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.  Even if it’s just not being a turkey. 




Ornament Downsizing

Thanksgiving is a little more than a week away and while some stations have already changed over to non-stop holiday music, it is still too early, in my humble opinion, to put up a Christmas Tree.  I am pretty certain that somewhere in the Mayflower Compact it prohibits anyone from putting up a Christmas Tree before Thanksgiving Day.

However, it is not too early to begin thinking about Christmas decorations: where the tree will go, how to decorate the house and so forth.  We do not have a nicely coordinated, neat and tidy Christmas Tree and that is the way I like it.  Our tree tells a story.  The ornaments are an eclectic collection that narrates a tale that began more almost four decades ago.  Many of the ornaments bring back specific memories over the years.  While they do not have much monetary value, they do have a lot of sentimental value.  

As might be expected, at some point the number of ornaments exceeds the number of spots to hang them on the tree branches.  We have reached that inevitable point in life where it is time to downsize the number of ornaments.  (Well it is time to downsize a lot of things, but we will start with Christmas ornaments.)  What better way in this digital age to reduce the number of ornaments than to sell a few on eBay? As I went through the process of listing several I was surprised to see the dates.  A few were from a few years ago while others were dated 1996, 1993, 1992.  I begin to think about the changes that occurred over that time, how my boys have grown and how I have changed.  But these ornaments are not ones that have “special” memories and I suppose I can make it through this Christmas without an ornament of Dilbert in a cup of coffee. 

However if the thought if Dilbert in a cup of coffee makes you think of Christmas, you can have it if you are the highest bidder.