Shooting down a Christmas tree is tradition

Published 8:53 am Friday, December 13, 2019

Mt. Olivet News

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I promised some interesting Christmas traditions that our readers would like to share.

Veedy Franklin and her three daughters, Donna Weaver, Sheila Ragon, and Chery Elkins, spend a whole day together just before Christmas. They start off by going out for breakfast, then a little shopping, and then lunch where they reminisce, laugh, cry, and share the good and bad of the past year.

She said they do very little shopping, but what a good time they have!

As I write this it’s Tuesday night, 29 degrees, and snowing. Wednesday was to be their day this year. Well, ladies, I hope you put on your snow boots and went ahead! Wasn’t the snow beautiful?

One tradition in the household of Miss Dell and Mr. Bob Traywick (my in-laws) was Miss Dell’s oyster dressing. I don’t have the recipe, but it was always a hit with her dinner guests and at the suppers at Black Jack Presbyterian Church.

On the second Sunday in December, after church, we always went out to get our Christmas tree. We would take the Jeep out and drive all over the pasture looking for just the right tree.

My husband George wanted the first one we came upon. Not my daughter, LaDonna and I. It took us forever to decide on one. We never ever bought a fake tree. It was something about the smell of cedar! And I sometimes left it up until February.

After we got the tree back to the house, George would sometimes have to chop off the bottom so it would fit inside. I never had the patience to put all those tiny little ornaments on the tree, so it became LaDonna’s job as soon as she was old enough.

She now decorates her home so beautifully! I tell her that it’s all the practice she got growing up. She has certain traditions that she has kept for nearly 25 years.

In addition to the two Christmas trees in the windows upstairs, there is always an “Ole Miss” tree in the computer room. All ornaments are red, white, or blue, and each ornament has a special meaning of some Ole Miss event.

A collection of nearly 50 Santa Clauses throughout the house greets visitors. Another tradition is her collection of Old English cottages that adorn each side of the fireplace.

The main Christmas tree in the den in decorated with meaningful ornaments, two of which were made by grandson Alex when he was in kindergarten. He is now grown but those remain special.

Sandi Land (Mrs. Calvin) shared with me a wonderful tradition of the Pete Land Family. Mr. Pete was out quail hunting one day years ago just before Christmas. He came upon the most beautiful tree that he knew would be perfect.

Not having a saw or anything else to cut down the tree, Mr. Pete shot it down with his .16 gauge shotgun.

From then on, some of the children, grandchildren, great-grands, etc., have taken turns shooting down the family tree each year. Wow! What a wonderful memory that family has for five generations now.

One Starry Night – A Savior is Born was performed by the members of Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church on Saturday night, Dec. 7, and it was a cumulative effort of an entire community. To begin to name everyone that had a part is impossible.

Some guests said they wanted to come again and asked if the program will be presented again next year. I don’t know…will we? We sure have the props and costumes for it!

Call me, or send a text to tell me about your family’s Christmas tradition. Let me share it with our readers! Home phone is 662-563-1742 and cell number is 901-828-8824.