I’m going to take you back to the Christmas of 1963 when I started my first magazine, a newspaper I loved.
It was the best Christmas story I’ve ever had.
It is the Christmas story of the people who make a Christmas tree.
In my heart, that story is a testament to the power of tradition.
And that is exactly what I want to tell today.
And I want you to remember that Christmas is about people.
It’s about tradition.
It brings people together.
And it’s a time for celebration.
In our country, the holiday season is a time of celebration for people, especially for those of us who are struggling.
We celebrate the season, we make it festive, we love it.
But it’s not the same as celebrating Christmas.
There are a lot of things that go into making a holiday like this.
We make it about tradition, we celebrate traditions, we are more concerned with what we do and how we do it, we’re less concerned with tradition.
We have an incredible time, but our traditions are fragile.
And our traditions, our stories are our strongest assets.
That’s why I want today to tell you a story that has a lot more to do with the way people celebrate Christmas than anything else.
The story begins on December 25, 1963, with the Christmas tree that Ralphie christened his family with.
Christmas trees were just a novelty, a whim.
In fact, the idea that Christmas could be celebrated at home was something new.
In those days, most families bought a tree, hung it on their porch and decorated it in their favorite colors.
But that was just a whim, a kid’s idea.
I guess it just didn’t make sense.
And then, on Christmas Eve, I remember thinking, “How am I going to make my Christmas tree look like that?”
And I remember a Christmas Eve with my father in my arms.
He told me, “I don’t want to make a tree that looks like that.
You’ll get sick of it.”
And so I thought, “Well, let’s just hang a tree on the wall.”
I wanted to look like Ralphie, and he wanted to be Ralphie.
We got together and made it look as good as we could.
The Christmas tree came out beautifully.
It came out with an orange-red border and red and blue leaves, with a blue bow.
We hung it in our living room.
The tree looked pretty good, and I thought I could make a good Christmas tree, too.
My father said, “Oh, we’ll just do the rest of the decorations.”
But I had this idea that I wanted the Christmas decorations to be just like the tree.
And so, I went back to my father’s house and said, okay, what do you think?
He said, oh, I don’t know, I think you’re crazy.
So, I started drawing up some ideas.
Then I called my brother and he came over.
We had a little conference at the end of the day, and we said, this is crazy.
We’ll make our Christmas tree out of scrap wood.
It has a bunch of orange and red sticks, and red dots, and blue dots.
I put in these red dots and blue ones.
And my brother said, you know what?
We should probably do it.
And he gave me a sketch.
I had him make it.
It looks pretty good.
And when I saw the picture, I was so happy.
It looked like the Christmas I’d imagined.
It had all the elements.
It wasn’t just a Christmas decoration, either.
I made a tree for my wife and kids, and it looked just like Ralph.
And all of my neighbors were all in on it too.
And they thought it was really cool.
The kids wanted to play with it.
The wife said, I bet this thing will be the centerpiece of our Christmas decorations, too!
And it was.
The next year, we bought another tree.
I remember that when we bought the next one, we had to make sure the original was still in the tree so we could use it in the decorations.
We put a red bow on it, and all of the red dots were there.
But the redness was off.
We used white dots instead.
The redness stayed off, and the dots were more vibrant.
We also had to find something else to do that didn’t have the same redness.
We thought, we could just hang the decorations up in the attic and put them on the walls.
I think it was a great idea.
We started with a red-and-blue ribbon, a Christmas-themed ribbon that would look like a red ribbon with a white dot.
And we put red-blue dots all over it.
I love that.
We did a few different versions of it, but we ended up using red-orange-red dots.
That was the final version.
I’m glad we did