My father bought our Christmas tree every year on Christmas Eve. He used to take my Mom go with him when I was little but, after a few years, she quit going. My Dad and I usually went together. One would think, "How sweet, father and daughter going to pick out the tree every year." That was not the reason I went. It was because mom refused to go with him anymore. My father, well, he was a bit of a Grinch when it came to purchasing a tree. He didn't want to spend money for a tree that was only going to be up for one week. It was his money; after all, we were spending.
We didn't go Christmas Eve during the day, when there were still some nice trees to choose from. No, we went in the late evening when the pickings were slim. The trees were marked down to a bargain price. The ones that were left, if no one bought them, were thrown in the trash. We would walk around and he would pull out a tree here and there and ask me what do you think. I was a child; they all looked good to me. He would choose one and we would go to pay and he would always try to barter the tree down even more. Sometimes that would work and some years it didn't.
He was always proud bringing the bargain tree home to my mother. She would always wonder how was she going to decorate that thing to make it look good. Our trees were not pretty, some were downright ugly. They were skimpy, scraggly or one sided, crooked trunk dried up on one side or missing the top. One year, he dragged one home that had brown dried up bottom branches. He had to cut a lot off the bottom. That year, we had a very short tree.
We would decorate it that evening. The trees always looked beautiful to me after we decorated them. Dad always put lots and lots of lights on and mom and I did the rest. The more that was put on the trees the better they looked. Back then we used a lot of tinsel. We had to hide a lot of flaws.
The reason mom stopped going with dad to buy the tree was because they would always bicker about which tree to buy. She wanted a nice tree and he wanted a bargain. She decided it wasn't worth all the bickering over a tree. She knew he was never going to buy the tree she wanted.
Things changed when the artificial trees came out. One year after Christmas, mother bought a fake tree at 50% off. She picked it out without him and a tree she liked. He still moaned about the price but she was adamant that they would have that tree for years and he would save a lot of money. Well, with that logic, mother finally got the perfect tall full tree she had wanted for years. They kept that tree for many years and even the grandchildren enjoyed it.