01 December 2011

Advent Calendar - Tree Visiting

Bubba & Grandma, Eighth Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 1985
Christmas wouldn't be complete without Bubba and Grandma Smith. One of the traditions Bubba gave us (insisted on) was tree visiting.  Bubba was always close to his siblings. During the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, he and my grandmother would go and visit each of his siblings, view their trees and sit for a showing of the gifts that had been received. Since my sister and I frequently spent our winter breaks staying with them, we often tagged (were dragged) along. Why dragged? Why did we dread it? I don't have any idea now. I do remember sitting in my great aunts and uncles homes, being warm and watching my cousins show us their gifts. Now, I am grateful, grateful for that time. Part of the closeness of Bubba's family is that they all lived in the same town, but also that he made time for them. He made sure they were a big part of his life and he made sure we understood the importance of family.

Auntie Dot & Poppy, Douglas Road, Bristol, Connecticut
So we went tree visiting. We always visited Auntie Dot and Poppy first. Auntie Dot is the closest in age to Bubba and she and Poppy served the role of grandparents to their nieces and nephews, the children in my mother's generation. Let's just say it's complicated and a story for another time. Their tree was always the fattest tree I had ever seen. It was short, but would seem to fill half of the room. They always had a gift ready for my parents, my sister and me and we would bring them gifts. How they managed to afford to buy gifts for all of their siblings, nieces and nephews is beyond me, but they did. The best part about going to Auntie Dot's was the sweets. After we did the gifts, we would head to her cozy kitchen for coffee and sweets; pies, cookies, donuts, whoopie pies...oh, I could go on and on. Maybe I should make some cookies later. 

I wonder if my cousins still go tree visiting in Bristol. Do you have this custom? This Tree Visiting post is part of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - I Remember Christmas series, which is kind of like a virtual tree visiting, during which you hop around to different blogs and learn about different customs and traditions. Today's theme is all about the Christmas tree. 

Happy Tree Visiting!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!


  1. What a great idea! I'll have to incorporate it this year. ;)

  2. I remember why we didn't like it, we had to sit for hours and see what everyone else got, shirt by shirt, when we would rather be home looking at we got (spoiled!). i have never seen either of those pic's! made me kind of sad. though we didn't enjoy it at the time i am glad we have the memory now. on another note i will never understand how auntie dot and pop bought all those presents either.. always amazed me as she pulled presents out of the air just like santa!

  3. What a great memory! We don't do that, but how I wish that we had enough family around to pick up the tradition. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Heather, I'd love to hear about your tree visiting adventures. Just peaked at your blog, love it!

    Sister, sister, Yes, we were spoiled! And you know, Auntie Dot and Pop are/were so kind, they could have been Santa, at least Santa's helpers.

    Stephanie, I'm with you. We are kind of isolated away from family up here in NH.


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