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The Natural Christmas Trees

By Angel Nuñez

Long Before the artificial Christmas tree and long before we started with this movement of going green, the Christmas tress in San Pedro were natural, truly green even though it was against the “going green movement.”  The Christmas tree in every house in San Pedro twenty five years ago was a branch from the pine tree with its needle leaves.

This tree was selected around December 20, shortly before Christmas so it would be fresh and green on Christmas day. Dad went to the bush usually around the area of Victoria House (La Punta) where there were several giant pine trees.  He selected the fullest and best shaped tip of a branch so that the tree would have that conical figure. He carefully put it in the dorey and paddled his way home so that it would not be sprinkled with salt water which would cause it to shrivel up. Once home, dad and the excited children would rinse the branch with fresh well water and inserted the stem into a bucket full of sand, which would be the standing base of the Christmas tree.

Once nicely standing at the corner of the living room, the older sister, mom and any excited children would proceed with the decorating.  No, unfortunately there were no beautiful twinkling lights; the trees were designed to be beautiful only for daytime hours. The decorations included balloons, small plastic toys, metal candy canes, garlands, and any ornaments that gave the character of the Christmas spirit. Once the tree was beautifully decorated, the nativity scene would be placed under the tree.  This included Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary, the three wise men, some shepherds and animals, angels if any.  To the entire family, this was the most important element of the Christmas tree- the Nativity scene.

On December 24, all wrapped gifts and toys were placed under the tree and if they could be hung, that was done too to add to the tree.  And like you can imagine, that would be the center of activity by the entire family early morning of December 25.  By that time the fresh aroma of the pine tree was becoming to dissipate but the tree was still green and not looking alive. This tree was kept up until January 6 when the Church celebrated the feast of the three Kings or the Magi (Los Reyes Magos).  When the tree was finally taken down, it marked the end of a phenomenal Christmas and another waiting for 365 days for another tree, ham, toys, apples, grapes, pears and chicken which were only bountiful during the Christmas season twenty five years ago.

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25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Lala’s Store -Chico’s Meat Shop -Pampered Paws -Ambergris Jade -San Pedro BTB Office -Aquarious Salon (Kim) -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush -Richies Stationery -San Pedrano’s Stationery

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