We have many family traditions. One of which is that the day after Thanksgiving, we must put up our tree and with great fanfare, welcome the Christmas season. Last year, our very cheap tree, which had amazingly survived 10 Christmases, died a sad but inevitable tree-death, toppling over one night when we weren’t home. We came home to quite a mess of broken ornaments.
So this past Friday, day after Thanksgiving, the first thing on our agenda was to go buy a new tree (a pre-lit one!) and new ornaments. We went to the store, picked out a tree we liked, a nice pre-lit slim tree (space constraints). Paid. $159.99. Hmmm, that’s funny, I thought it was $119.99, but alas, the box we dragged up to the register indeed said $159.99. Even still, not too bad. So we got home and Keith spent a couple hours lugging the thing in the house and putting it together while I took our elder children to piano lessons on base. We came home to an almost-assembled tree. But the wrong tree. It was too tall, too broad, the branches went all the way to the floor (as in it would be impossible to put gifts under it), and it had pinecones. Ewww. How could we have gotten the wrong tree entirely? Oh well. This one would do. It would have to because Lisa had a plan! We MUST decorate tonight!! Except that when Keith plugged it in, the center section of lights didn’t work. No matter what he did, he couldn’t get them to work. And of course, that just wouldn’t work. The dream began to die that we would be able to decorate a tree that night.
So I called the store on base, upset because he’d have to drive all the up there (about 40 minutes each way), get a new tree, come come, and assemble said new tree. Day-after-Thanksgiving plans officially pooped on. But wait! The manager had an idea! They already had our tree assembled as a display tree, and she would give it to us and take ours back all assembled as well. So Keith quickly split our tree in half, stuck it in the van, and went to get the other tree. An hour and a half later he returned, with a cellophane-wrapped tree, and began to unwrap it and put it into place. But it wasn’t the same tree. 🙂 Skinnier, thinner, no pinecones. But it was pre-lit. Truth be told, I liked this tree better than the one we accidentally bought. But I was just certain that this wasn’t a $159.99 tree. So AGAIN I called the manager–what the heck??
Long story, short–we ended up getting a full refund on the $159.99 tree and got the pre-lit slim tree (which was ironically the tree we were trying to bring home the first time!) for only $49.99! Sweet! And we were able to decorate that evening, and make our Christmas cookies and drink hot cocoa, and take turns singing each persons’ favorite Christmas song. And it was ALL worth it when I overheard Adam gazing at our tree and whispering from his heart,
“Merry Christmas, Jesus.”