They are often haughty and aloof. They have a serious aversion to bathing. They eat disgusting things. They prefer their females unshaven. They are certain of their superiority to the point of arrogance even though they are neutered. But unlike the French, these boys are sweet, lovable fur balls who do not care for Jerry Lewis movies. And they never, ever surrender.

Name: CFOMahm
Home: Metro Detroit, Michigan, United States
About Me: Italian/Polish (yes, that does make me both opinionated and dense, but there is definitely good eating at my house!). Fan of bad jokes, crossword puzzle addict, old enough to know better, but still young enough not to care. Known to the Gang of Three as "Mommy Cat - Almighty Keeper of the Can Opener and Mistress of the Front Door".
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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ever Gleam Forever

Today is the day for putting up the trees. Yes, that's right - trees. Try to stifle your jealousy that I am the owner of not just one, but two, aluminum Christmas trees. There is a 4 foot vintage Ever Gleam made by Aluminum Specialties Company back in the 60's. The other is a 7 foot beauty purchased new in 2002 from National Tree Company over the internet, for about $170. It is the tree of my dreams, gorgeous, full, fluffy (and easy to assemble). It gleams like a multi-colored diamond with the color wheel (a gift from my dearest friend) trained on it. It is so nice to not have to deal with putting the lights on. The shifting colors are soothing and transform the appearance of the tree as they change. Child #1 is into kitsch and likes it fine, Child #2 thought it is corny and tacky (Corny perhaps, but the new tree is definitely NOT tacky). The fur balls enjoy sitting under it, but prefer a real tree that they can climb. However, their combined weight of 70 pounds is enough to topple a tree and I am glad it's not necessary to anchor the tree to the wall with wire coat hangers and nails anymore. The Ever Gleam tree is one of the trees of my childhood. Seems kind of sparse now, but back in the day my Nonnie had one and I thought it was the coolest thing. This one was for sale at an estate auction in the summer of 2004. When I saw the tree in its beat up box I was filled with desire. I would bid as high as necessary to make it mine. I was envisioning having to pay about $50. Silly me. There was little interest in the thing. Bidding opened at $1 and the only other bidder seemed half-hearted. At $5 the other bidder dropped out. Oh the joy! There were even some old ornaments in their original boxes inside. Perfect. Here's how it looks in all its magnificence.

Last year only the small tree went up. It was the first Christmas without Child #2 and I had no heart for the holiday. The small tree was doable because it had never seen a Christmas with my child. I debated this year if I wanted to put up one tree, both trees or no tree at all and changed my mind several times. But this afternoon I will do it. Hope to not get too weepy over the special ornaments. The fancy, unusual ones we bought yearly in sets of 4 or 6 and were divided among the (human) boys and me. They were meant to connect us forever and over the miles at Christmas once the boys grew up and had their own homes and trees. Child #2 will never take ownership of his box of ornaments. I guess Mom will have try to look at them and smile about the memories, not just grieve over the loss. I will post an updated picture of the big tree once it is decorated.

You can read and see more about aluminum trees at these sites -

The Aluminum Tree & Aesthetically Challenged Seasonal Ornament Museum and Research Center (ATOM) will display 50 to 60 vintage aluminum trees in Asheville, North Carolina this Christmas season.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has an exhibit this year named "Ever Gleaming: Wisconsin and the Aluminum Christmas Tree" It tells the story of the origin and development of the aluminum tree at Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin and will feature the trees and their accessories such as rotating tree stands and colored light wheels.

The Manitowac Herald Times Reporter has this article about the trees.

UPDATE: Big tree is assembled & decorated, complete with cats underneath. Can't find the gosh darn color wheel. Grumble, grumble. Where the heck did I put it? May have to buy a new one (the surest way to make the old one turn up). Oh well, I do have TWO aluminum trees. Guess I should have two color wheels.


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