Port Maitland "On the Grand" Historical Association

Port Maitland, Ontario, Canada

My Name is Scrooge! Really, it is!

By William A. Warnick

Published Dec 15, 2004
in The Dunnville Chronicle

Janice Edie's Victorian Christmas home on Broad street. As we went from room to room we saw the thousands of lights, the myriad of Christmas decorations and. . ., well I am a guy and guys can't remember Christmassy things! My name is Scrooge! Really, it is! All I could say was "thank God I am not married to Janice!"

Carole decorates a tree beautifully. Each year she has a different theme. One year it will be toys, another angels, and yet another candies and so on. She watches for her theme characters whenever or where ever she shops. My job is to screw the dam tree to the floor and get lost! Occasionally she will ask me to find an extension cord, or to check an electrical ornament that didn't light up. I just tell her to throw the blasted thing out!

If you are wondering where this Yule time attitude comes from, I will tell you exactly where and when it began. Christmas number one, - 1970, at 16 Tremont Drive Apt. 1201 in St. Catharines. I will never forget the humiliation! I told you in my column last year how my father never put a tree up until after we were all tucked snugly into our beds. Finally, I had my own house, well apartment, and that was going to change. Carole agreed! Mind you I was thinking December 15th. Carole on the other hand said, "we buy all these decorations and do all this work. . ., might as well enjoy it for a while!" On December 1st, we found a tree lot and purchased a short needle pine. It was perfect. A lot better than my Dad ever had and not nearly a big; only about five feet! The tree was bought, now to the mall for decorations, -lights, those fragile ornamental Christmas tree balls, tinsel, an angle for the top, and of course that proverbial extension cord. Within a day the tree was up. It was tied to the wall, well watered and beautifully decorated. Sparsely by today's standards but still beautiful.

One evening, arriving home from work we noticed a couple of the ornaments smashed on the floor. We had a cat, an illegal cat! After a scolding and clear instructions to leave the tree alone, we felt comfortable going back to work. Again arriving home we found the cat did not take instruction well as more balls were smashed on the floor. This went on day after day, until one evening while smooching, we heard a smash and saw one of the ornaments fall to the floor. The cat was sitting on the chair beside us. She had been blamed and it was not even her fault .

A check of the tree, I found even though well watered, it was bone dry. Too dry to make it til Christmas! I was going to have to purchase another tree. As I began removing the lights, the needles were falling off by the tonnes. I lifted the tree a few inches and tapped it on the floor. Every last needle came off. A Charlie Brown tree for sure! It was about December 20th and I needed to get this tree out of our twelfth floor apartment. I could toss it over the balcony! But then it might crash through some ones window. The only way was to wait until it was very late and sneak it down the elevator, hoping no one sees me with "last years tree"! In the dim of the night I silently snuck to the elevator, got on and pushed "one." At the eleventh floor the door opened and in came two people. I had to explain! No sooner was this explained and the door opened at the 7th floor. Another explanation! Then at the r floor. I had never before or since had so many of my neighbours in the elevator with me as that night! Who needs Christmas anyway?

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and may 2005 be your best year ever.

P.S. If anyone has any photos of the Edie home at Christmas, I would like to add them to this story.

Port Maitland

If you have items you wish written about or pictures you would be willing to loan, please drop me a note. Let me know how you feel about these articles.

William (Bill) Arthur Warnick