Oh. Christmas Tree?

One December, our family room looked barren. Where a glorious, fresh, decorated Christmas tree usually stood, we had but empty carpet. This was strange, since my mother loved fresh pine trees and had insisted on one for years. She loved the smell, you see. That year, however, she couldn’t bring herself to do Christmas. I’d say it was Winter Blues or a Nervous Breakdown or whatever euphemism people preferred for describing Depression, but it was also that my brother and I fought like angry dogs while complaining about our difficult lives in wealthy suburbia while demanding expensive presents.

Facing the reality of a tree-less Christmas, we children called a cease fire. Enlisting the help of the only other licensed driver in the house (our father), my brother and sister and I set off to see what was available on a literal Christmas Eve.

Fortunately, we didn’t need to go far. At the point of commerce touching neighborhood, we saw that one of the businesses had donated their holiday decorations to the large dumpster out back. We drew closer. In the light of minivan headlights and father-held flashlight we saw them: a few skinny, short, still-alive Christmas trees.

“Let’s take them!” my sister said.

“They’re too small,” I claimed -or my brother; we share a similar optimism.

But we all knew we were short on options. We also knew we needed time to decorate, open our traditional pajamas, read Luke 2, and set out milk and cookies for Santa. Therefore, we took them.

And that is how, for our most memorable Christmas tree experience, we had three (rather dwarfish) pines in the place of honor. We looped the lights and tree skirt around them all, roping them like contestants in a three-legged race. We hung the ornaments where they’d fit.

And they smelled lovely.

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Β©2020 Chel Owens

Thanks to CalmKate of Aroused for the prompt!

41 thoughts on “Oh. Christmas Tree?

  1. Hobbo November 29, 2020 / 10:49 am

    I love the National Lampoon’s Christmas film where they go out for the tree!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Chel Owens November 29, 2020 / 6:25 pm

      πŸ˜€ Apparently, one of my neighbors does that to her family every year.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. robertawrites235681907 November 29, 2020 / 11:09 am

    Your poor mum, she must have been feeling quite down if she couldn’t face Christmas. I love Christmas, I spend weeks preparing my projects. This year it is the giant gingerbread project.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens November 29, 2020 / 6:27 pm

      Some years, my kids drive me to consider coal in their stockings! πŸ˜€ Gingerbread sounds like fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      • robertawrites235681907 November 30, 2020 / 10:48 am

        Gingerbread is fun although 16 batches was pushing the outer limits of fun. I am now making the fairies to go with it. I have often thought coal would make the perfect gift for my sons too.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. calmkate November 29, 2020 / 1:00 pm

    What a delightful story, Dad came to the rescue and the compromise worked!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens November 29, 2020 / 6:28 pm

      Sometimes the ‘ruined’ moments are the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • calmkate November 29, 2020 / 10:18 pm

        yes they leave the best memories πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  4. mymindlessdrivel November 29, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    Ah, the smell. That is the one thing I regret in being lazy about “doing” Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens November 29, 2020 / 6:31 pm

      Me, too! I’ll admit that the trees seem to die really quickly when I get one, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. CarolCooks2 November 29, 2020 / 6:50 pm

    A delightful tale …I am sure your mum was relieved and a lovey memory ..kids really don’t know what angst they cause us, mums, at times with their “wants”…but why should/ would they? The Christmas spirit gets harder every year for me here.. it’s not celebrated here and when I put up my tree it is the only one for miles…if it wasn’t for the grandkids, I would just treat it as another day…so I go through the motions and fester up as much Christmas cheer as I can…The cakes, puds, decorations and music Oh yes the tunes keep me sane …Happy Christmas prep to your house, Chel xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens November 29, 2020 / 9:21 pm

      I hear you, Carol! I can’t even feel like Christmas some years, especially if it doesn’t snow. ❄

      Liked by 1 person

      • CarolCooks2 November 29, 2020 / 9:27 pm

        It would be a miracle if it snowed here… πŸ˜€ Take care x

        Liked by 2 people

  6. petespringerauthor November 29, 2020 / 7:56 pm

    Yet, it’s years like that which stick with us. Great lineβ€””roping them like contestants in a three-legged race.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens November 29, 2020 / 9:22 pm

      πŸ™‚ Thank you, Pete. It was that, or comparing them to lassoed bulls!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. bookshelfbattle December 3, 2020 / 6:35 pm

    And none of you cleaned up those trees after New Years. Your poor mother had to take them down and throw them away. Thieves!

    Nice writing though. I could see this as a scene in a Christmas movie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens December 3, 2020 / 7:29 pm

      We did too clean them up!…I think.

      Thank you for the compliment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. H.R.R. Gorman December 5, 2020 / 10:43 am

    Creativity and dash in a time of need and desperation is often the most memorable things.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. therealmomblogblog December 7, 2020 / 3:59 pm

    Wow. I have been SO tempted this year… Your mom actually put her money where her mouth is, so to speak. But she made a memory that ended up positive in the end, so I’d call that lucky and blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens December 7, 2020 / 10:44 pm

      We wouldn’t have had Christmas twice in my motherhood experience had the children not decorated on their own.


    • Chel Owens December 18, 2020 / 11:14 pm

      Thank you. πŸ™‚


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