When I was 14, my best friend was Ann Williams, and she and her family lived around the block from my house. We spent a lot of time together, mostly at her house, since both her parents worked. In fact, I never remember meeting her mother. Her father, I remember quite well. He resembled Dick Van Patten from Eight is Enough, a popular TV show from the late 70's and early 80's. Ann told me that their family took a limousine ride in New York City once and as they were getting out, her father was asked for his autograph. He played along.
I also remember walking around their house in April and passing the living room, set off to the side, a place I had never noticed. There was a large, tall item standing in the middle of the room with a sheet over it - their Christmas Tree. Being from a family with set traditions concerning the Christmas Tree, I was flabbergasted. Our tree went up the Sunday after Thanksgiving, while watching Abbot and Costello Meet...some sort of ghastly ghost, monster or werewolf, followed by a turkey dinner, same as Thanksgiving, but at our house. I am not sure when it was taken down because my mother must have done that part, but she would never have allowed a tree to stay up well into the New Year. And a sheet over a tree, I am not sure she could have handled even the idea of it, so I am sure I never told her. I may not have been allowed back to their house.
The memory of this covered up tree has made its way back into my brain. Perhaps it is because our tree is still standing in our living room, uncovered, begging for a sheet.