Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Past: Episode 1, aka Dad will never live it down.

Our story starts on a tree lot in '78 or '79. Dad, Mom, my older sister Tiana, my younger sister Katie, and I were choosing a tree. I was 7 or 8, Tiana was 9 or 10, and Katie was around 5. It was dark, cold, and utterly magical. We girls wandered through the lot looking at each and every tree. "Dad! Let's look at this one!" Dad would obliging pull the tree out of the stand and give it a slow twirl. "No! Too tall!" or "No! It's flat on that side!" or "No! Not green enough!" We had it narrowed down to two trees. Mom made the final decision.

When we got back to the turquoise Ford XL, my father's pride and joy, we discovered that the tree was mammoth. It hadn't looked quite so big on the lot. Mom worried, "Maybe we should go trade it for a smaller tree. This isn't going to fit." Dad tut tutted at her and told her to get us in the car. "It'll be fine! I've got some rope." We climbed into the backseat and waited as Dad tied the tree into the trunk. The car rocked as he crammed the tree into the open trunk and laced it in. We giggled and slid all over the black leather bench seat. Mom got out of the car to check Dad's work and was promptly sent back inside by my irritated father.

We set off for home. It was a short trip - we had to drive by the PX, turn left at the big intersection, then two rights on smaller streets. Tiana, Katie, and I were all kneeling on the back seat, peeking at the tree through the gap in the open trunk. Dad turned at the light and the tree slid out of the trunk. It landed right in the middle of the busiest intersection on the base. Cars were honking and veering around the fallen tree. We were screaming, "THE TREE! THE TREE! THE TREE IS IN THE STREET! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! DON'T RUN OVER OUR TREEEEEEEEEEE!" Mom was cackling, Dad was cursing, and I'm pretty sure the partridge in the pear tree laid an egg. Somehow, the tree got laced back into the trunk and we got it home with minimal damage. The next year, Mom bought an artificial tree and Dad didn't even protest.


Lisa said...

Oh, mercy, that was funny. I'll bet he never lived that one down!

Mary Witzl said...

Great story, Christy! My favorite bit was when your father sent your mother back to the car after she'd tried to check his work. Oh, I'd have milked that one dry, no doubt about it. I hope this one is trotted out every Christmas; I can imagine it is!