It started sometime around Thanksgiving. My grandparents would take me downtown to the train yards where the annual shipment of trees would arrive for the holiday season. We would pick out three large Douglas firs and they would be wired together to make one enormous, fantastic Christmas tree. It sat at one end of the garden room rising 20 feet in the air. It was 9 feet wide and almost 30 feet around.
It took from Thanksgiving until Christmas to decorate the tree. Over the years, my grandfather had collected thousands of ornaments from all over the world. The tree held one-of-a-kind rare ornaments valued in the hundreds of dollars when they were first purchased in the `30’s and `40’s. The tree also held homemade ones that Harold received from his charity work.
I remember a jeweled encrusted ostrich egg, and a sequined football, (a reference to the college football hero Harold Lloyd played in his most popular film, “The Freshman.”) I particularly loved a Christmas ball given to him by his friend, make-up artist, Wally Westmore, that was a miniature diorama depicting a bespectacled Harold in a red bathrobe trimming the tree.
One year we counted over 5,000 ornaments hanging from the tree and we still had enough left over to decorate 3 more trees just as big! Every year the tree grew larger to hold more ornaments; then one year it became a permanent fixture in our home. It was simply too large, too decorated and too engineered to disassemble. So we had it fireproofed and celebrated Christmas every day of the year!
Suzanne Lloyd (Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter), Christmas memories of growing up at Green Acres (via fyeah-haroldlloyd)