The Detective’s Daughter – Lovely as a Tree



Kim in Baltimore organizing birthdays, college graduations, and Christmas!


When I was a child I remember watching a holiday show called The House Without a Christmas Tree. I couldn’t imagine such a thing. We had two -sometimes three- trees right in my own house. My family in a neighborhood that’s now referred to as Federal Hill, but back then it was just plain old South Baltimore. Everyone I knew celebrated Christmas and had a tree in their living room that you could see from the street at night when the decorations were lit up.

FullSizeRender (29)Our trees were always artificial, but beautiful. My grandparents had a silver one that sparkled as the color wheel turned casting shades of blue, red and green onto the branches. Upstairs, in my parents’ apartment, the tree was a normal green.

The first year I was married my husband took me to a tree farm. We trudged along through the snow with our dog in search of the perfect tree. If you’ve ever seen the Chevy Chase movie Christmas Vacation, you’ll have a good idea of how that all turned out. My husband did bring the saw, but left it in the car!

I believe you can never have too many lights on the tree, and when my children were very small, there were times when lights were all I could manage. The year my son was born our tree was completely bare. FullSizeRender (30)

1206192037This year my husband and I took a trip to New York City where we had the opportunity to visit Rockerfeller Center. The tree was magnificent! The historic Hotel Edison also had an elegant tree on display in their lobby and we were fortunate to see it on our way in and out of the hotel every day. 1207192025_HDR

This week the tree at my house was put up and adorned with lights. Like my parents before me, I am now decorating an artificial tree for the holidays. Pine or plastic, it’s still magical to me.

As this year comes to a close, so does my time here on the Wicked Authors blog. It has been wonderful sharing my stories with all of you and I have appreciated the many sweet notes and responses I’ve received. Thank you for reading.  I will continue to periodically post The Detective’s Daughter on my Facebook page Kimberly Kurth Gray – Author, if you would like to follow me there.1214191958

I wish you all a happy holiday and a healthy, peaceful 2020!

Dear Reader, please share with us your favorite holiday symbol.

37 Thoughts

  1. Dear Kim, we’re sorry to see you go! I hope you have a blessed Christmas and all best luck in your writing going forward.

    I also love a tree with colored lights and for me it has to be a fresh one. After I moved to New England, I fell in love with electric candles in the windows of historic homes. As that is the only kind of home I’ve lived in in thirty-seven years, I joyfully adopted the practice. My dusk ritual is making sure all the lights are on.

    1. Edith, I cried as I was writing this post. It felt like I was eighteen again and leaving home.
      We have candles in our windows. In my childhood home we had them as well. They were plastic with orange bulbs and my mom would use tiny tacks to keep them placed on the windowsills. This year I bought battery operated ones that are on a timer and apparently have a mind of their own. They turn on and off at all hours!

  2. We have a fake tree too. They’re so much easier than the real thing. Happy holidays, and all the best with your future endeavors!

  3. Oh, Kim, I’ll miss your posts here!

    When we were first married, we’d buy live trees with the root bulb attached and then plant it after the holiday. Those trees are now HUGE. We switched to regular live trees and then to artificial. These days, I no longer put one up at all but am thinking of getting a little tabletop one. Keeping Kensi Kitty from eating it might be a problem though.

    1. I’ve never had a tree disaster concerning an animal, but my mom’s cats would climb up in her tree to bat at the ornaments which, of course, would eventually fall of the tree and break. Good luck with your tree. You need to get one!

      1. We don’t have any cats this Christmas , but for many years I put the unbreakable ones down low and the glass ones up top. Never had a tree climber, thank goodness.

  4. I will miss your posts but will be on the lookout for them in the new location!

    No special decorations here, except stockings hung by the chimney. My husband’s grandmother made stockings for everyone in the family, so when we married and had children, I made similar ones modeled on hers. They’re not as good because she was an artist and I can barely manage a glue stick, but they are cute. Happy holidays, Kim!

    1. Ramona, thanks ever so much for your continued support not only of my posts here on the blog, but of my writing career in general.
      My mom made each of us stockings when we were toddlers. I still have mine, but just hang it now as a decoration. I think it would disintegrate if I tried to fill it.

  5. Fresh or artificial, small or large, plain or decorated, Christmas trees are special. Just looking at a lit tree brings me to a happy place. Merry Christmas, Kim, from my tree to yours. I’ll miss you here, but I’ll follow you anywhere (wow, that sounds creepy. 🙂 )

    1. ❤️❤️Aww, thank you! That’s sweet, and yes a bit creepy, but very funny!! I just noticed that three out of five Decembers I’ve been on this blog I’ve written about trees. I think I might be a little obsessed with them!
      I wish you a very merry Christmas, my friend! 🎄

  6. Kim, I’ll miss your stories here!

    My grandmother had electric candles she put in all the windows of her house – upstairs and downstairs. I wonder whatever became of them.

    The Girl and I would like a real tree one of these years, but The Hubby is pretty set against it.

  7. Wishing you all the best in 2020! We will miss you here. <3

    As a child we also had that silver tree with the revolving color light. Love it at the time. It seems so modern. Now I prefer the standard green tree, but I do like the artificial ones only because we have them up longer than a cut real one would last. Christmas trees are a biggest symbol – and usually the most. Before we downsized we had 7 trees in the house and a few outside each decorated with their own theme.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  8. Kim, I will miss seeing you here but I’ll be following you on your author page. I love The Detective’s Daughter blogs – your voice and heart make them must reads for me. xoxo Shari

  9. We had a real tree for a number of years, and we’d go cut it down, too. But somewhere along the line, my parents got an artificial tree. I had a real one the first few years I was on my own, but now I have artificial trees as well. I’ve got small spaces for trees, and I have to buy a tree that will fit in that spot.

    Best of luck in the future. You will be missed here.

    1. Our artificial tree is also smaller. I didn’t realize the difference until I had so many left-over ornaments.
      Thanks for always reading and commenting, Mark. That means a lot!

  10. Oh, no, I can’t believe you are leaving! I absolutely love your posts and always have looked forward to them.

    As to a favorite holiday symbol…. As strange as it may sound, it is a pink felt pig. In 1973, when our daughter was 3, my mother sent her a package with a pink felt pig ornament attached. Of course, our daughter wanted to put it on the tree. OK, except we had just gotten our first tree and I had bought all red and gold ornaments for it. The pink pig just didn’t fit in. So, we told our daughter to hang it on the back of the tree where it could look out the window. She was amenable. We still have the pig, she still hangs it on tree when she gets home for Christmas, and it still hangs in the back even though the tree is now decorated with 46 years of souvenirs, only one of which is gold – left from that first year. To make this pig even more special, our daughter converted to Judaism some years back. We all enjoy our Jewish daughter hanging a pig on a Christmas tree.

  11. I always look forward to your posts, Kim, and will follow you on facebook of course. We’ve switched to artificial tree after years of the real ones. It’s a grand looking one, with such a beautiful light display we’re loving it!

  12. I’m not sure there was much of a specific holiday symbol that I cherish above the others. We had the tree and the various decorations that were either on it or spread around the house. My mom had the nativity scene she put up but none of those were so noteworthy that I would say they were cherished.

    Rather for me, I’d say what I liked best was the Christmas Eve gathering at my grandparents. The extended family would gather there for dinner and the exchanging of gifts. By the time my grandfather had passed and my grandmother decided it was too much for her to host, it was moved to my aunt’s house where the gatherings would continue for a number of years. As there were now young kids that still believed, my uncle would dress up as Santa each year for a visit. There were themes like come dressed as your favorite Christmas character and games. Plus my aunt made this incredible chicken dish that I drooled with anticipation for each year.

    But that ended four years ago. The gatherings were canceled the same year my mom passed (though not because of that) and I suppose the gathering is what I miss the most and seem to oddly hold as a cherished memory or symbol of the holiday now.

    1. Gatherings are the best. When my children were much younger, my mother-in-law would insist we come to her house for Christmas brunch. I hated tearing the children away from their toys and did lots of grumbling to my husband. Now my mother-in-law has been gone for ten years and I have to admit I really miss us all being together.

  13. Those are some great Christmas tree pictures. So colorful! Yeah, we’ve always had a Christmas tree. It’s a fine tradition. Great post!

  14. I’ll miss you, Kim. I have so enjoyed your posts!

    I haven’t had a tree for the past few years in Florida (they last about 10 minutes) but in Maine, we cut our own from the woods and decorate it with our favorite ornaments. We do have cats, and we learned early, put the tree up without decorations for a few days. Let them get that climbing instinct out of their system – then unbreakables on the bottom and precious on top.

    As a child we always had live trees. First on my great-grandfather’s farm where we also burned a yule log (we were French) and we made all of our own ornaments – farmers are not wealthy. After my great- grandparents gave up the farm, we would have Christmas at home where we followed my father’s German heritage and Santa decorated the tree on Christmas eve. As the youngest, my parents would wake me to put the tree topper on. We had my grandparents hand blown ornaments that they brought from Germany and one magical year, we used their candle holders and lit the candles – for about five seconds – but the vision lives in my memory even now.

  15. Sweet memories, sorry to see you go Kim, but best of luck and adventures in this new year!

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