Trees of Christmas Past

Reprinted from December 21, 2009


Surprisingly, nobody has blogged about this year’s hottest Christmas item – a Christmas tree.


If you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks, you probably didn’t know that there is a shortage of Christmas trees this year in Hawaii.  People waited in line for over 8 hours just to get their hands on a Christmas tree last week – and paid over $50 for one.


Even artificial trees are sold out!


Here’s an article written by Will Hoover about locals paying $120 for a 4 foot tree.  Crazy!


But this is MLC where we’re not interested in the sheared Douglas or the Noble fir Christmas trees that went on sale the day after Thanksgiving.  No, we like to remember when Christmas trees were purchased at the local market, hardware, or department stores.  And they were all the same – what I like to refer to as “Charlie Brown” Christmas trees.


Maybe some of you might remember this picture from a blog entry from last Christmas:



Christmas Tree Paula

Paula with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree


We must’ve paid around $7 for a tree back in the day.


And then there were the artificial Christmas trees.  Who remembers seeing one of these Christmas trees?



Christmas Tree MLC

See that colored wheel? It rotated so the aluminum tree would reflect different colors.  Ingenious.  Plus, being a “metal” tree – it wasn’t really safe to string electrical lights on it I suppose.


Yup, those days of simple Christmas trees as all but a memory.  Nowadays, you’re lucky to even get your hands on a Christmas tree.


Were you fortunate enough to score a Christmas tree this year?  Or do you have an artificial tree that you put up?  Or did you even bother to put up a Christmas tree?  Our state-of-the-art fiber optic tree is still sitting in it’s box, stored away.  But hey, we’ve still got a few more days before the big day.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll have our tree up yet.

37 Responses to “Trees of Christmas Past”

  1. Mark'75 says:

    Truly a great guy! He did Hawaii proud!

  2. HBH says:


    Marcus Mariota, what a poised and pono youngman. A real example to the spirit and character of the islands. His ohana raised him well.

  3. 4G says:

    @Mark’75 – man, what an acceptance speech! Quite the tear jerker . . . .

  4. Mark Shelby says:

    I used to always love to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas specials every year. Did you?

    A Charlie Brown Christmas (The Meaning of Christmas)

    The kids make fun of Charlie browns choice of a Christmas tree.

  5. Mark'75 says:

    CONGRATULATIONS Marcus Mariota!!!!!!!

  6. volleymom2 says:

    Its been years.. no tree for me, but I have the decorations up every year and the Xmas cards that I receive are on my door! In high school, we had the artificial tree with the revolving lights, those were the days!

  7. Mark Shelby says:

    Did you put cookies and milk out for Santa on Christmas Eve? I did! Right in front of our fireplace. And in the morning the cookies would be eaten and the milk mostly drank up! Santa is Real!

  8. Mark Shelby says:

    My Mom went through this faze where she started to like the white flocked Christmas trees. They were so expensive. I never liked them by the way! Then one year she bought this flocking apparatus that you could hook up to your vacuum cleaner. Somehow it would reverse the flow of air and you could flock your own Christmas tree on da cheap with dat white stuff! So guess who’s job that was ; )

    It was a horrible experience! The dreaded flocked Christmas tree!….lol

  9. Mark'75 says:

    Oh wow, I remember telephone book Christmas trees! I made one once…didn’t look as nice as the one in the photo though. 😆

  10. Mark Shelby says:

    Watching Hawaii 5~0 tonight. Cutting down the Christmas tree scene in the forest preserve was hilarious. And they put the tree on top of the Camaro backwards!…..hehe

  11. Rodney says:

    @LK – No Christmas tree shortage this year. This article was first printed in 2009. But thanks for the tip on where to find Christmas trees.

  12. Rodney says:

    @HBH – After I got married and moved to town, we used to get our Christmas tree from Ala Moana Sears too. They sold trees for one or two weeks. On the last day (Sunday), all the trees were marked down 50%.

  13. Rodney says:

    @adobo – leaving a piece of Christmas tree on the car’s dashboard – Classic MLC. lol

  14. Rodney says:

    @Mark’75 – Except for the sisters part, your post about decorating the tree was exactly like my experience. Throwing the tinsel in the air (and getting scolding), then turning off all the room lights to see the just the Christmas tree lights.

  15. adobo says:

    @Mark Shelby, yes I do remember fondly of the windy and rainy times of past earlier years. Shopping for gifts or the tree and returning to the warmth of your home. Even just riding with my dad to pick up my mom from work. One year I was limited to playing indoors do to a stormy season, but I didn’t care because that was the year I got my hotwheels with the deluxe track set. And anyone remember H.O. slot cars? Set em up next to the xmas tree and race.

  16. Mark Shelby says:

    Off topic a little…..But did you ever wish we had cold rainy storms at Christmas time? We knew we could never have snow. But a good massive cold rain storm moving down from Alaska would always make it more fun for me! I used to cut keawe wood out back and stoke our fireplace at Christmas for my family and that was always so fun, on those cold rainy windy December nights!

  17. dihudfan says:

    wen I wuz kid time… my mom made a xmas tree with dried up branches from a palm which wuz fluxed with Ivory soap and had silver painted african snails as ornaments… she made it at some craft shop… hohoho…

  18. HBH says:


    Its funny and sad that you brought up how trees were $7 back then. I remember reading about the christmas tree shortages some years in oahu and trees going for almost $100. Man talk about paradise tax and how thing have changed. 🙁

  19. HBH says:

    I remember getting our trees at the sears parking lot(ground level) at ala moana shopping center in small kid time. Remember carrying it upto our condo in Kaka’ako not far and decorate it with tensel, lights and all kinds of bulbs.

    Today i have an artificial tree that i put together and had for years. But i love the blinking multicolor lights.

  20. adobo says:

    Rod, that image of Paula holding up that Christmas tree? I SO REMEMBER that. “What about this one, or that one?” I had to check the height, how full and even it was, was it proportional, etc. But just like that yearly Christmas TV special, there are no CB trees. After we finish decorating them they are all special and awesome.

  21. Mark Shelby says:

    In 1970, our church ( First Church of the Nazarene on Judd St. )
    Sunday school class that my Dad was the teacher of, sold Christmas trees in the Dillingham Blvd. Wigwam parking lot way out front on the corner.

    We stayed their for days during school break selling trees, and slept over night to guard the trees. When the rains came we had to huddle under tarps or go sleep in our cars.

    It was fun helping people choose their tree, and carrying it to their car and tying it down for them. Back then, picking out your tree was a very special event!

    We brought in a 24 foot container of fresh Christmas trees from Oregon for the sale. And the profits helped our Sunday school group.

  22. adobo says:

    We have our memories and that’s why I come to this blog. Christmas trees were always special, I remember breaking off a piece of branch and leaving it on the dash of your car so that you could savor the smell. Our trees always fit, cut the bottom but not the top, just how my dad was. Old glass ornaments were always stored and saved for next year. Remember the old light strings with the large bulbs? Those wouldn’t meet the safety regs now. @Mark’75 I remember the aspirin in the water, later I used the packets from Watanabe Flowers, anyone been to their old location in Mililani? Driving through the residential neighborhood streets to pickup your premium tree? Tree was cherry, but I was like “whoa where I stay” and then you find em.

  23. Mark'75 says:

    “It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough”
    We Need a Little Christmas – Johnny Mathis

  24. Mark'75 says:

    “Hang a shining star upon the highest bough…”
    Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

  25. Mark'75 says:

    “There’s a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well. The sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow…”
    It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Johnny Mathis

  26. Mark'75 says:

    Decorations of red, on a green Christmas tree…

  27. Mark'75 says:

    Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

  28. Mark'75 says:

    Its been years, but when the kids were little, we’d buy a Christmas tree and decorate it.

    This post brings to mind the trees we had growing up.

    After mounting the tree and dropping aspirin in the water, the base would be covered with a fuzzy white cotton wrap. A few light sets, including bubble lights went up. My sisters and I hung old glass ornaments with hand-painted Santa and snowman designs. Then they’d carefully drape tinsel over the branches, while I hung it my way, tossing it in the air. There was a pointed ornament that went up on top. The smell of the tree brought excitement, with thoughts of Christmas approaching.

    At night we’d turn off the living room lights and watched the tree lights glow.

  29. 4G says:

    I have not had a Christmas tree for the last 20-some odd years. Scrooge! LOL.

    I actually like Christmas trees – just don’t want to the deal with the hassle of them on a personal level. I think it’s the smell that I like the most, but those twinkling lights are a close second. 😉

    When I did have Christmas trees, it always amazed me how heavy those suckers were when you put them up and how feather light they were when you took them down!

    Old pine needles left in a vacuum cleaner bag smell pretty nasty when you go to turn on the vacuum . . . . 😆

    I used to have a lot of fun putting up the tinsel. Too bad tinsel got banned.

    I used to think that those old-time “bubble lights” were really cool, too. Some of the new LED Christmas lights are pretty cool what with the different colors, lighting modes and patterns.

    The Philips Hue LED lights (they are not “Christmas” lights), are pretty cool – you can set them to cycle colors and intensity and even respond to sounds (e.g., music). Or, you can just set them to something like red and green. 😉

  30. AnkleBYTERS says:

    My artificial tree has been up all year round….coming up on its third Christmas. I add a few ornaments ever year…MLCers on FB have seen it….lol…

  31. Kage says:

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    I do no decorate or set up a tree at home because the cats would have a field day. 🙂

    I put my energy into decorating the work place.

  32. LINDA KATO says:

    Good morning MLCer’s ❗ Happy Thursday ❗ 😀

    We have our tiny artificial tree up with colorful lights already on it! No need to decorate it…. we have a few gifts from our neighbors, my hairdresser, and grab bags for our Christmas party…. not much goes under the tree since we don’t exchange gifts anymore. I just like to look at the lights. When the kids were little we got a REAL Douglas Fir and decorated it with everything, lights, balls, tinsel…. garland, the works! I miss the smell of a fresh Christmas tree. We have lots of Christmas trees under a tent at Don Quijote in Waipahu, Rod, if you want to drive out this way to buy one. It is next to the Waipahu Zippy’s where we dine daily. I love to smell the trees before we go out for lunch or dinner.

    Happy Holidays everyone ❗ Have a great day ❗ 😀

  33. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!
    We have a 4′ fake tree but it’s not going to be setup this year, no time. Too busy this year.

  34. DancingBear says:

    I always buy my tree the day after Thanksgiving. I water it for a day, then I put it up and let it sit for a day. Next day, I decorate it. I keep it up until the weekend after New Year’s. I do it all myself because if I left it up to my family, it would never get done.

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