This year, while putting up our tree, my mind kept going back to the Christmases when I was a child. When I was really young, there were some holidays with very little fanfare. We didn’t always get presents, but as long as there was food on the table, we managed to celebrate just fine. As finances got better, we could expect a small gift or two. Mom didn’t really like us visiting with Santa Claus because she didn’t want us to get our hopes up, knowing full well that she and Dad could not fulfill our wishes. But it never seemed to matter on Christmas morning. If we had a tree, you bet it resembled Charlie Brown’s tree. That’s because it didn’t cost much. One year back in the 70s, my mother brought home an artificial Christmas tree. It was a shiny silver tree that she got on sale. Ever the practical one, she wanted to purchase one tree that would last for years. Mom decorated the tree with blue round glass ornaments and plugged in a circular light fixture under the tree that rotated with colors of red, yellow, green and blue. It was mesmerizing and we loved looking at it. I think we used that same tree for at least ten years. All we had to do was replace a few of the ornaments yearly because my sister, Lee Ann, always managed to knock it over and break a few. Through the years Christmases did get better and gifts became a little more abundant, but I will never forget the simpler times when we would wake up on Christmas morning and find small brown paper bags with our names on them. Inside we would find an apple, an orange, nuts, a handful of candy and maybe a small toy and the best part was that the breakfast table would contain enough food for all to enjoy, and then some! Merry Christmas Santa Clarita!