It may have been around 1944. On a previous Christmas my mother (Ada Campioni) had decorated a very small tree. I can remember it well. It was only about a foot high and had a wooden cube for a stand, which was white with colored bells and candles painted on.
the hollow side painted in shiny colors of red, blue, and silver. (I still have the last one which survived my playing with them as a child.)That was the same tree that my mother set up for me in June one year, when I was ill with the
measles. That helped me so much to take my mind of my discomfort.
This particular year I so much wanted a real tree. Naturally, my dad “Baffi” was against buying something so expensive, especially since one could not eat a Christmas tree. In later years I realized that he was right. His entire life was devoted to feeding his family. Now at my age, I appreciate him all the more for his choices.
After a short session of grumbling about my request, he took a walk to the top of the hill North of our house.
(near the present site of the University of California, Santa Cruz) He returned with a few mushrooms and
a Redwood branch. “That’s no Christmas tree!” I wailed. “Be quiet and watch.” was my mother’s suggestion.
She produced some thread, and carefully tied the branches, which all grew in the same plane, as Redwoods do.
She pulled them into a spiral shape, and fastened them in place. When that tree received its ornaments, it was
a work of art! I got over my dislike of a redwood tree. Indeed it is the only Christmas tree which I have remembered
for my entire life. It was not so much the tree itself, but that my father had taken the time to do me such a much appreciated favor. I have told this story to some local friends, one of which said, “He must have loved you a lot.” He did indeed.
Saluti e Buon Natale, Gino
IVANO SAYS: Thanks Gino for reminding us what Christmas is really about. Merry Christmas everybody e Sempre Avanti.