We always had a live Christmas tree. There were no farms near by to cut your own so my dad purchased one at a lot. It always had to be a spruce and perfect in shape! Once he cut an extra bough off and attached it some place else on the tree! The fun was of course decorating it. With an older sister i didn't have much power to put things where I wanted them! One year she decided to throw all the tinsel on the tree rather than hang it piece by piece. It looked rather messy. But then when all was decorated my dad had the honor of puting the top piece on. Later some gifts were arranged around the tree base and my sister and I tried to guess what was in them. My two aunts, sisters of my dad, always gave us dolls. The box was a dead giveaway but once my mother left the house to see a neighbor. My sister opened one end of her doll box and knew what it looked like. I was disappointed because I always liked surprises, still do! We children got to open one gift Christmas Eve. The rest of the suspense had to wait until morning. My family as a child was poor and we learned to cherish each and every gift and be grateful.
Nice Janice. The thing I notice these days is a lack of tinsel anymore. That was my favorite party of decorating the tree. I didn't think it was a fire hazard but maybe so. I never heard of a make believe tree until I was in my 20's. There's nothing like the smell of fresh cut pine or spruce or fir in the house.