Stealing a Christmas Tree

December 13, 2014

We steal our Christmas tree. It’s the Grinchiest tradition ever and without a doubt has become one of our favorite nights in December.

How did it start? With sick kids, of course. When they were little, we’d get a permit from the forest department, go to our allotted spot, hunt for a tree, and bring it home. It was fun. Great even. But one year, the kids were too sick to venture far from home, so instead, we walked through our heavily wooded backyard, found a perfect tree, and chopped it down. Voila! A new and improved tradition had begun.

Because we live in a rural area, finding trees is not a problem. Thanks to global warming there are lots of sad, sick trees that need to be thinned or taken before they turn brown and die. At least that’s my rationalization. The hunt begins during long November walks. Before much snow arrives, I secretly tag a few trees. When it’s time to cut, we bundle in layers of warm wool, carry flashlights, and search for the tagged trees. A vote must be taken on the best one (not easy to compromise with five of us involved) and then, chop! We douse our flashlights as we skid across ice, carrying it back.

Invariable our stolen trees mimic Charlie Brown’s: they are tall and thin but perfect for hanging ornaments. Maybe it’s our act of civil disobedience, or maybe it’s our rationalization that the tree will die of disease, that eases our conscious. But at this point, the crime has become a Christmas tradition.

What does this have to do with writing? Nothing at all.

Happy Holidays.



One comment

  1. 🙂 I love it! Great tradition.

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