Vermont’s Christmas Tree Traditions

Eliot Orton and son

We know that Christmas is not far away when the mountains start wearing their little caps of snow. It’s getting closer when snow is lying over the fields and the ponds start freezing over. It’s just around the corner when carols are playing on the radio. But when is the Christmas season finally here? For us, it’s when we bring home the tree.

 

In Vermont, some of us cut our own, and some buy from farmers who set up little tree lots by the roadside, strung with holiday lights. Either way, we trudge through the deep snow, fortified with a Thermos of cocoa or hot cider, just in case we get a chill from the snow filling our boots.

 

You never settle for the first nice tree you see. You have to look at a dozen, at least, to find one that’s full, but not so bushy the ornaments won’t hang. By the time you’ve made your choice the sun is slanting down and it’s getting colder fast.

 

Bringing home the Christmas tree
Bringing home the Christmas tree

When you arrive back home, the lights in the windows have a welcoming glow, and you realize it must have been the same 100 years ago, coming in from a frosty night with a tree cut from your own wood lot. Pretty soon, it’s set up in the parlor — fresh, cool, and fragrant.

 

Old-Fashioned Ornaments
Old-Fashioned Ornaments

Then the decorations come out. The boxes are battered and dust, but the beloved decorations inside are still shiny and perfect; each one is like unwrapping a memory. Little bells with clapper, paper-mache angels, felt mittens with names written in glitter.

 

Years later, you may realize that time together, hanging ornaments one by one, is the best part of Christmas. We make Christmas special by making time for it, and for each other. So along with your holiday shopping (and we do hope you do some of that shopping with us) we hope you can make time for an old-fashioned decorating party. It’s a tradition worth preserving.

 

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous Christmas,

Gardner, Cabot, Eliot, and Lyman Orton

Proprietors Of The Vermont Country Store

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5 Responses to “Vermont’s Christmas Tree Traditions”

  1. Victor Joseph Zapata

    Gentlemen,
    I have been shopping VCS online for some years now and y’all have made my experience very enjoyable. My utmost gratitude to your organization for keeping “Christ” in Christmas, no matter how many other businesses have gone the so-called way of “political correctiveness”.
    I thoroughly enjoy the nostalgia in the items I constantly find in VCS that I experienced and grew up with back in the sixties and seventies.
    My bucket list includes visiting your store in person someday.
    Again, my sincerest thank you and may y’all and your families have a most Merry Christmas,
    Victor J. Zapata,
    San Antonio, Texas

  2. Gerry Foley

    Dear Gardner, Cabot, Eliot and Lyman: Each year I gather with two dear friends for a weekend that includes the trimming of their family Christmas tree and our own gift exchange. No matter what else I give them they always receive a basket full of Vermont Country Store treasures including stollen, cheeses, chocolates, jams and maple syrup with the occasional Austrian snow globe or some other novel surprise thrown in for good measure. The VCS Christmas basket is a cherished and indispensable part of our holiday celebration become tradition. Thank you for making our lives all the sweeter, and our Christmas celebrations more precious. You have become like family, and I am grateful for all you are and do.

    To you and yours: A Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with countless blessings!

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