When I arrived in France many moons ago, Christmas trees were not part of Christmas. The Christmas consumer market had not yet taken off. The French florists usually had a few dried up pine trees for sale, reminding me of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, for a small fortune!
Given this bit of history I want you to imagine a young woman, nine months pregnant, determined to have a Christmas tree, for her soon-to-be-Franco-American baby.... Imagine her buying a Charlie Brown tree, then dragging it behind her as she walked the streets of Paris back to her apartment. Then hauling it up the three flights of stairs where she placed the tree upright. One side had bare branches. The other side had needles dangling. The scattered scent of pine, was replaced by sweat and a funny feeling.
Photo: A glimpse of this year's tree, adorned with a vintage "sabot," ornament from the French flea markets.