The year was 1954, and living in small town in Central Massachusetts our father was known as the "town drunk". He could not hold a job, was abusive to my mother and seldom home.
Mom worked two jobs to put food on the table and the newest invention - the TV had just been introduced. She wanted her three children to enjoy a "bit of happiness", and although our father was unemployed, he somehow managed to purchase the TV.
Following three months of Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, for the three of us kids, and Milton Berle and Jack Paar for mom, reality set in when the bill collector appeared at the door with a notice to repossess the TV the day after Christmas.
Ziggy and Adina Zenn were Jewish refugees liberated from the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1945 and settled in our town in Central Massachusetts. They owned a convenience store and also one of the finest penny candy selections anywhere.
One of their suppliers delivered a fully shaped freshly cut Colorado Blue Spruce Christmas tree to the Zenn's, but because of their Orthodox practice did not have need for the tree.
My father promised us a tree to be delivered several days before Christmas but due to his problem with alcohol, the tree never materialized.
My mother visited Ziggy, and in admiring the tree was told that it was already promised to another family. She gathered up the three of us along with a hand saw, asked a farmer for permission to enter his pasture to cut an old "scrub" tree for us to decorate.
We decorated the tree and went to bed on Christmas Eve only to awaken to the beautifully decorated tree from Mr. and Mrs. Zenn. The original family to whom they offered the tree was given one from a relative and the Colorado Blue Spruce was delivered to us late on Christmas Eve.
In addition to the perfectfully shaped tree, Ziggy and Adina learned of the repossession of the TV and as a gift to my mother paid for it - thus removing the worry of the repossession from my mom and rescuing Roy Rogers.
Mother finally divorced my dad and married a wonderfull man who was a great husband and iedal father - and, did not partake in alcohol to excess.
My father never did come home for Christmas...