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Our Final Fresh-cut Christmas Tree

December 14, 2017


Our Final Fresh-cut Christmas Tree


and A Link to One of My Presentations about My Holiday Book


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



For many years, I decorated three Christmas trees of varying sizes for each Christmas season.  After we welcomed artificial trees into our home for a number of years, I decided that one of our three trees should be a fresh-cut tree for one final time.  I convinced my dad that this tree should be the medium-sized tree that we would place in front of the west windows of our knotty-pined family room.  Somehow, my dad had learned of or spotted a tree farm off the divided Highway 63 (en route to Terre Haute, Indiana).  This holiday season was one before I received my first guide dog; at that time, my pet dogs were my American Cocker Spaniel, Chico, and my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chelsea.  Pet dogs were always a part of our family; and I must say that wherever I went, I was accustomed to being the one to whom other dogs would come and stay beside.


On the expansive tree farm, we had quite a choice of very nice trees.  What was unusual about this visit to the tree farm was that I met the largest Shepherd–the largest dog I believe I had ever encountered–and, of course, he kept paying attention only to me.  Since we had always had medium-sized or small-breed dogs, I was wondering about this farm dog’s following me and jumping up around me wherever I walked.  At that time, little did I know that I would soon be learning how to handle, work with, and love the large-breed dogs that would become my guides shortly after the 1980s turned to 1990.  Now, my “little” Black Labrador Willow, the smallest of my four Leader Dogs, seems–at fifty-three pounds–so small to me.  How perspectives do change!


Thinking again of the perspectives of the abundant future Christmas trees, I remember that Dad and I chose a neat evergreen; the farmer felled the tree for us and helped load it onto my dad’s station wagon.  Oh, the fresh smell of pine!


Although Dad kept our previous “live” trees in the garage for a couple of days before bringing them into the house, I recall that he brought this medium-sized tree into the house as soon as we arrived home.  How wonderful to have a fresh-cut tree again!  Then, my happiness was short-lived.  Within a few minutes, my allergies kicked in:  there must have been a mold of some sort on the tree.  For three days, we did not decorate the lonely little tree.  For three days, I did not step foot into the family room.  I was determined that whatever was causing the problem would eventually disappear or dissipate and that I would be able to enjoy a final fresh-cut tree.  My parents agreed to be patient.


After three days passed, I was indeed finally able to be in the same room with the much anticipated tree.  At last, the lonely little tree was bedecked with twinkle lights, silver garland, red velveteen bows, and a variety of treasured old ornaments.  Having placed the four-foot tree atop the wooden cabinet in which was the old Singer sewing machine, our final fresh-cut Christmas tree was at the height of the west windows to show off well from out-of-doors, as well as from our family room.  Besides flanking the table where we would later gather for our holiday meals with my nephews, sister, and brother-in-law from Colorado, as well as with cousins from Indiana–the stately tree shared its sweet fragrance until the new year.


* * *


My Presentation about


The Christmas Carriage and Other Writings of the Holiday Season


on Branco Broadcast–A Link for Your Listening


To listen to my one-hour presentation on the Branco Broadcast of November 13, 2017, click here:

During this presentation, I recited my poems “Zoe’s Christmas Eve” (as “Willow’s Christmas Eve”) and “Acrostic Christmas Gift” from The Christmas Carriage and Other Writings of the Holiday Season (pages 45 and 65).


Author and broadcaster Bob Branco’s weekly program originates from Boston, Massachusetts.


The above link has been posted for a while on my author’s web page where you can read ordering information about my holiday book which is available in print, e-book, braille, and audio.  Also, you may find photos and additional articles at:


Enjoy the sounds, fragrances, scenes, and sparkle of this Christmas season!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


December 13, 2017, Wednesday



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  1. mfanyo permalink

    Thanks so much, Alice, for your memories of this special little Christmas tree! One of the advantages of the addition of the family room to our house was to have space for our beautiful Christmas tree, Nativity figures, and card display in the new room. Going back in my memory to earlier years I recall that we selected our Christmas tree from the ones that our Grandma Store (Lanzone) sold at her grocery store. The trees were very tall and sparse, later to be known as “Charlie Brown” trees. Just in the last few years, we purchased an artificial tree for our Colorado home. We are looking forward to decorating the pre-lit tree tomorrow evening!
    Wishing you and Willow a very Merry Christmas!
    Love, Mary

  2. Carole permalink

    Alice, thank you for posting your excellent presentation from the Branco Broadcast! Your talents have now expanded to a new medium! Bravo!

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