This post first appeared Christmas 2013. The trees are similar, the presents are different, but the message never changes. Blessings to all my readers and commenters this past year!
The Longenecker Christmas Tree.
Well, there was none. Not one. Not ever. Despite the fact that the Christmas song, “O Tannenbaum” is of German origin, most Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite homes of the 1950s and 60s did not light Christmas trees. Decorated trees were lumped together with other worldly pleasures like jewelry, makeup, and movies and therefore not permitted. At least the Ray Longenecker family did not have one. We were plain and I longed for some fancy.
One year I found a limb from our maple tree out front with little branches that looked as forlorn as Charlie Brown’s tree. I brought it into the living room and tried to find trinkets and a red ribbon or two for decoration.
It was a sad little tree. It looked something like this, only wedged into our living room radiator and anchored by balled-up newspaper no doubt.
Good grief! I know how…
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8 thoughts on “The Longenecker Christmas Tree & Charlie Brown”
I just read the entire post. I love your bravery in celebrating how you want to. Having celebrated every one of my 76 years with a tree, I can’t imagine Christmas without one! 🙂
Mennonites have Swiss/German origins, just like that of “O Tannenbaum.” In the 1950s, the church considered decorated trees worldly and thus discouraged them. Most Mennonite families now celebrate with trees and other decorations, I’m sure. Thanks for being the first responder today, Anita.
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Marian, I love your “plain and fancy” family stories and the Charlie Brown tree is beautiful in its simplicity. Thank you for sharing and enjoy a wonderful Christmas with your family around a brightly bedecked tree!
There is always high contrast in these plain-and-fancy stories. Though I now wear “fancy” duds, I still try to pursue the simple life. I’m glad you enjoy the stories and commented too. Thank you, Kathy – and again, Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Merry Christmas and happy New Year, Marian!
Same to you, Rebecca. May the new year hold many happy surprises for you.
I enjoyed this glimpse into your past. Hope you had a joy-filled Christmas.
Yes, I did – thank you for your faithfulness in reading, Lady Fi!