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(Left Photo by Nigel Main )
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My dad sold Christmas trees throughout my childhood and teen years. On Black Friday, we'd get up way before dawn and go to a wholesale place in South Philly to get our bunches for sale. Dad sold them in front of our North Philly row home, replacing the peanut and bubble gum machine usually there.
Being the last of five, and since my older siblings were no longer interested in helping Daddy, I became his designated partner by age eight.
I was security, branch sweeper, handed him the string to bind the trees and nails to hammer into the stand. I took my job very seriously. I even kept a metal shovel nearby to go after anyone who tried to swipe a tree. The only time my father got robbed was every year around two or three in the morning by the same family, the Marstons. Well, I guess it was a friendly heist.
They were a family of twelve, and every Christmas Eve after my family turned in for the night, two of the older kids would lumber up the street (they lived on the same block) and ring our doorbell in hopes we had one tree left for their Christmas morning.
Daddy always kept one for the Marstons. He'd charge them a dollar and threw in a stand for free. More often than not, no money exchanged hands. This happened for over ten years.
Of course, his security was right there on his heels just in case there was, what my Dad called, "a no account jitterbug" ringing our door. The parents usually sent the older sons. After we said Merry Christmas to the young Marstons, Daddy would cover my eyes so I wouldn't see the goodies under the tree. Good times!
Since we're more environmentally aware in the New Millennium, a live fir tree seems to be the natural choice.
Christmas Tree Farm Network
Did you know ... Christmas tree farms stabilize soil and protect water supplies while providing refuge for wildlife. In case you're ever on Jeopardy, Christmas trees grow on soils that can't support other crops.
Enjoy your Christmas tree shopping. Try thinking outside-the-holiday box when you're ready to decorate. And more importantly remember to be a blessing to someone this Advent Season. Be an Advent Angel for someone in need. We leave you with a few delicious recipes to enjoy with family and friends.
- 4 oz light cream
- 4 oz espresso
- 1 oz white chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp rum non-alcoholic flavoring
- 1 tsp creme de cacao
- 1/8 tsp vanilla
- Whipped cream
Preparation:Heat cream until almost boiling. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until melted and smooth. Stir in liqueurs and vanilla. Return to low heat and whisk until foamy. Pour espresso into a large mug, then spoon chocolate mixture over the espresso. Top with whipped cream.
|HAWAIIAN TEA COOKIES|
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1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. coconut
Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, lemon juice and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in flour mixture, then coconut. Shape dough in two 2 inch diameter rolls. Wrap and chill 4 hours.With sharp, thin knife, slice dough 1/4 inch thick. Place 1 inch apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven, 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden. Remove to rack to cool. Makes about 3 dozen.