One of my co-workers stopped me in the hall yesterday and asked me if he could buy the Evergleam aluminum tree and color wheel that my parents had. He knew about it because I'd mentioned to him how tacky I thought it was and how much I disliked it when I was a kid.
This tree was a legacy from the early 1960s. For some reason, my parents decided that having a real tree was not "progressive" so they decided to get an aluminum one.
Now to me at that time and still to this day, I love the smell of a real Christmas tree. We go out each year to the local tree farm to look for a good specimen. Heck, there are even hay rides to take you to go get your tree.
But the tree that I remember that took the shine out of Christmas was the one that came in the big flat box that said "Evergleam" on the side. It was a 4 foot model and would be placed on top of the Chippendale chest in the living room, right in front of the window. And to add insult to this, my father would plug in the color wheel that would rotate to color the tree with red, green, blue and gold.
I remember that the tree was decorated with red ornaments. No longer were the old glass ornaments from my earliest memory used. Nor were the cool bubble lights that I liked so much.
And the tree lived up to its advertising as being really durable--because it has lasted to this day.
I would go to other kid's houses, and they had real trees with colored lights and a great pine woods smell. I was ashamed that we had to have this metal thing in the window. But my father wasn't at all bothered by the Charlie Brown Christmas saga about how uncool metal trees were (Lucy sniping at Charlie Brown to get a pink metal one).
After I had my own place, all the trees were real. But my mother and father continued to use the aluminum one. After my dad died, my mother put it up every year until she finally went into assisted living. The aluminum tree in its box was relegated to closet storage. I was glad that I didn't get to see it. Until now....
And all of a sudden it seems that these vintage metal trees are much sought after. They have some kind of art deco charm. So after my colleague asked about buying the tree, and I replied that it had a kind of weird sentiment (surprising!) for me, I went home and found the old Evergleam in its box.
I took out all the branches from their waxy sleeves and put the tree up in the landing going up to the upstairs library. I must be in that nostalgic part of my life. Because for some reason, I think that the Evergleam needs to be out of its box. I have a 9 foot real tree in the parlor complete with bubble lights and all the handmade and antique glass ornaments that have been in the family. But I also have that old aluminum tree to remind me of a time when my parents were young and enjoyed the color wheel as it shown its light on a gleaming silver tree.
Have a great Friday everyone.