When a family's Christmas tree heads to mulch pile, memories live on

dlauderdale@islandpacket.comJanuary 13, 2014 

Christmas tree ILLUS

Christmas tree takes center stage in "A December to Remember."

CRAIG JOHNSON — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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    Email David Lauderdale at dlauderdale@islandpacket.com.

Thanks to Philip Perkins of Hilton Head Plantation for sharing a family poem about Christmas.

Philip and Dorothy Perkins have been active on the island for many years. Dorothy served on Town Council from 1991 to 1997, and was mayor pro tem.

"December to Remember"

By Philip Perkins

For some 60 or more years, we have had Santa Claus come to our house for our two daughters.

But of late our celebration has consisted of Christmas decorations, some outside lights, and dragging in a big tree and decorating it.

About 10 years ago, at 74 years of age, I said to my wife: "No more of those ever more expensive live trees; we are going to get an already-lighted, artificial tree."

And we did.

Except after the first year we could not get the tree back in the box, and if we could, we had no place to store it. So we gave it to the Boys and Girls Club. Back to live trees.

This year, at 84 years of age, I said: "No more Christmas trees." Big mistake.

So we forgot the outside Christmas decorations on our palm tree. We got the real thing ... at great expense to all concerned. We decided to make this a "December to Remember" ... spare no expense ... get a real tree ... decorate it and "deck the halls with boughs of holly."

After our children, now grown, were gone, we sadly took down the tree and wrote them this report:

The Christmas tree was very sad,

There had been days when it was glad,

When children danced around in glee,

And dearly loved the Christmas tree.

But now the tree has gone away

To be mulch another day,

And we will one and all remember,

The tree we had in December.

"Nice poem," our daughter writes, "but fortunately there's a happy ending ..."

As it lay with other trees

Among the sticks and grass and leaves

It had time for some reflection

Upon its holiday perfection.

And this, in turn, helped it to see

That sad was not how it need be.

It had worn great decorations:

Ornaments and luminations.

From seed through cutting when it fell

It had served its purpose well.

And in closing, she says: "And now, a moment of silence for our last Christmas tree in the 'December to Remember.' "

LOST AND FOUND

Thanks to several readers who quickly helped solve the mystery of the missing memory card.

Michael Brown of Texas told the story in this column last week about finding a memory card from a camera on the beach in Sea Pines. He wanted to reunite it with the owner, so we printed a few pictures that he sent us.

Friends of the owner made the connection first thing Monday morning. The owner, who lives in Sea Pines, did not know the memory card was missing, but was glad to get it back.

The Island Packet appreciates all written and photographic submissions from readers. All submissions become the copyrighted property of The Island Packet, which may use them for any purpose, including in print and online, without compensation to the submitter.

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