Saturday, December 17, 2005

Do they still make wooden Christmas trees, Charlie Brown?

Today I went about putting up our Christmas tree. My eleven year old son stated that the tree looked small. It is a small tree, only 5' 8" or so. (Even though the package says it's six foot.) I asked him if he knew the story of our old fake tree. He didn't. You, dear readers and other hangers on, don't know it either. Lemme prattle onward.

Justin and I married in on August 25th. Exactly four months later Christmas arrived. Since we were fortunate enough to start our marriage flat broke, we had $80 to spend on each other for Christmas. We had $20 left of our marital Christmas fund and we'd given up on having a Christmas tree in our first crappy apartment. It wasn't that important anyway, we justified.

We were in a Kmart, trying to decide how to blow our $20, when we found our tree. It was 75% off and cost us an entire $12. You have to sell six foot fake trees 75% off when they are missing four inches. We couldn't just have a plain tree, oh no! We bought 18 velvet bows for a buck, a string of red mini lights for a buck, and ten glittery snowflakes for a buck. With the last of our Christmas budget we started a tradition. We purchased one special ornament. Every year Justin and I get a new ornament, and one for each of our children. The first ornament was a naughty mouse peeking out of a toy chest.

And... because I worked at a grocery store at the time... all the free defective candy canes I could carry home. I managed to get 12 green candycanes on our tree. Three years later these candy canes were eaten by a sneaky kid I'd given birth to.

Justin and I have been together for fourteen Christmasses. Thirteen married Christmasses. We've used our short fake tree every Christmas because it means something. For the last three years I've threatened to buy a new tall fake tree, but I never do it. We'll use this tree until it sheds all it's green plastic needles and all the wire bits wear out. When that happens we'll bury it in the backyard in it's box with it's water bowl and it's favorite chew toy.


  1. Great story there. Hubby and I have been married 4 1/2 years now, and have yet to start a christmas tradition. But then again, he is a bit of a scrooge.

  2. Great Story Becky, now, if you'll excuse me, in my PMS induced state I'm going to have nice little weepy moment. The tree looks lovely. Merry Christmas!

  3. cool!

    you know my lame ornament saga by now... along with our pizza box cardboard star, nice to know we are in good company with your too-short tree.

  4. Dick Phillips12/18/2005 4:17 PM

    Traditions are wonderful and I think those relating to Christmas are the best of the family related ones. I had the pleasure of 37 Christmas seasons with my Annie, but she died July 23rd this year so I guess I will now have to start new traditions. I don't think I will like these new ones anywhere near as well as those we established together, but I sure am glad that we had those 38 years to spend with each other. I guess the main thing that defines each of us is our memories and I sure have some wonderful ones, thanks mostly to Annie.

  5. Merry Christmas to you Mr. Phillips, and to your Annie.

  6. That is a wonderful christmas story.

  7. My ex and I had a similar dort of tradition. They are good for the soul and very worth keeping up. Congrats on the tree and may it give you plenty of warm memories.


  8. mr. phillips! Your story was sweet, too, but he sorta stole the show...

  9. Awwww, that was a sweet story. You feelin' ok? ;) It's still a nice lookin' tree!

  10. I had an email from my Dad. I get home on christmas eve, so decorating is in his hands at the moment:
    "Hiya. Havn't exactly decorated the house. I gave up after I managed to tie a christmas hat to the cat, and so after that decided it was too much effort."


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