So here is a family Christmas tree story.

Mom’s Life of Crime

When my mother was still living in Dumfries, Scotland, her father had always brought in a tree that they had dug up the first year they moved to the town, in a tub. After Christmas, it would go out in the shed until it could be planted across the road on the edge of the farmer’s field across the road (now all houses). Towards the beginning of spring, it would be replanted across the road, and before the next Christmas, dug up, again. When my Grandfather died in 1945, my Mom and grandmother had to move out of the manse and into a flat farther away. The tree stayed where it was.

My grandmother had cancer by then, the flat was small, and money was tight (both because of my grandfather’s death and the post-war prices) so a tree was really not an option.

In 1950, Mom really wanted to get a tree for what was likely my grandmother’s last Christmas. So she went to where someone was selling Christmas trees but they were WAY too expensive. So my Mom embarked on the only criminal act in her life.

After dark, she went back to the tree lot and broke some of the lower branches of several trees where they would probably be cut anyway. She took them home, tied them together with ribbon, and her mother had a Christmas tree for what did turn out to be her last Christmas. She died in November of 1950.



  1. MMP said,

    January 3, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Hello inside New Year, This story is truly simple and very warm, leaving a trace in heart and memory. All the best in 2017.


  2. December 27, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Lovely story. I lived close to Dumfries as a wee boy. (The Park village near Thornhill) We used to go to Dumfries for the fair or to see Santa. We also went there to go to the swimming pool. That part of Scotland is beautiful and full of memories for me! Thanks for the great story:)

    • mudhooks said,

      December 27, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks for commenting!

      My Mom grew up on Rotchell Park. He father was the minister at the Buccleuch Street Church which was then the Church of Scotland church. It closed after my grandfather died in 1945. My mother and grandfather moved to Johnstone Park. My mother left Scotland in 1953.

      Mom is 92, now, and has Alzheimer’s, so, sadly, she is losing the old stories. I was lucky to have written them down while she was still able to tell them.

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