, Salem, MA


January 7, 2013

Column: One last thought on Christmas

It happens every year.

I hate it.

I have to take down the Christmas tree.

I have loved each and every tree, and I am always thankful and grateful that there are people on this Earth who have farms of Christmas trees and that they sell one to me every year. I usually try to find a charitable organization that peddles them — for years, the Salem State hockey team (or was it the soccer team) sold them and I’d always go there, but then they stopped. This year, I gave my money to the Boy Scouts, who handily put the tree on top of my car, and off I drove home, happy to know that I had secured a lovely, full tree.

We put it up in the living room in front of the sliders that go onto the deck, and this way when people drove by the house, they could see the tree full of colored lights and pretty ornaments. I’d walk the dog in the backyard at night and wondered what people thought when they saw our tree.

When I was growing up, my father would wait until Christmas Eve to buy a tree. He always brokered a deal with the poor guy there on the lot on a darkening Christmas Eve afternoon, telling the man that, “you know this just might be your final chance to sell this tree.” My father stood holding the last dregs of the Christmas tree pickings. This drove me nuts.

Earlier in December, I’d note our neighbors with trees already in their living rooms, all decorated, and here my three brothers and I were in our house without anything to look at to remind us that Santa was on his way. It could be November or February for all the lot of us knew. I’d worry that one time we’d go out and there wouldn’t be any trees left at all and that the magical reindeer and their boss would just pass us by.

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