This is the story of a Jennie and her husband who, once upon a time, went to a Christmas Tree Lot and purchased a lush tree of respectable size and girth. This was the Christmas tradition the Jennie had followed since… well… forever.
But the following Christmas, the husband, having grown much bolder during a year of living with his princess, suggested a change in plans. Trees are expensive, he said, and we live in the Land of the Pine after all, and I own an axe and saw, so what if we took a little walk in the woods?
(Of course, this not being a real fairy tale, and J not being a real lumberjack (although he is OK), “the woods” was actually a strip of scrubby pines and prickly bushes separating our town home community from an office complex.)
Dressed all in black, with the Jennie walking a confused but excited dog as a cover story, and the husband stealthily hiding the tools under his winter coat, our adventurers headed into “the woods” under cover of darkness. They stumbled a bit, they searched far and wide, they left a trail of crumbs (also called dog poop), and then they came upon their prize: a sapling, five feet tall, thin and lopsided, and utterly redolent of that Charlie Brown mystique.
The tree’s trunk was so frail that one blow of the axe and three strokes of the saw brought it down. There was much giggling as the prize traveled back through the neighborhood on the shoulders of our giddy treasure hunters, with the now-sap-covered dog prancing delightedly alongside.
Every year since, the Saia Christmas Trees have come from the deepest, darkest patches of “the woods” owned by the state. Every year since, they have shone with the special combination of adventure, colored lights, and hilarious pathos that transform a stolen scrub pine into a new tradition.
…and with that, to all a good night. Tip of My Tongue (oh, how I love third person) will be taking a blogging break until mid-January. I’ll be reading a bit, because you who continue to publish during the winter holidays impress and delight me, but I will be renewing my stock of story magic for use in the New Year. Until then, may all your 2014s start off as glowing and full of possibility as fresh snow under a full moon!