A Christmas Tree Story

Since we are a farm whose production relies on trees, I thought I’d share this special holiday tree story.

One day in December 1995, my parents put up their fake Christmas tree. It was a beautiful tree, trimmed with heirlooms and tack, topped with an angel wearing tinsel for a comet’s tail. Fake trees provide a familiarity year after year – especially ours.

The front of our house faces a highway in Mechanicsville, and it’s traditional to place electric candles in the window to accent the home with the triangle tip of our twinkle-lit tree as the centerpiece in the bay window of the living room.

After Christmas, my parents got into some kind of stand-off about who will take down the tree. I’m not sure what the deal was, but I think it was something like, If my dad fixes (blank), then my step-mom will take down the tree. Or if my step-mom does (blank) then my dad will put away the tree.

Comically, this stand-off lasted for months. I was away at college so I couldn’t get after them. And the living room was the kind of room you didn’t go in unless we had company. So the tree was perfectly content in its own quarters, albeit lonely.
Summer came and the tree was still up. Window lights too. If I came home and my parents were out of town, my brother and I would plug-in the tree so everyone in Mechanicsville would see that we still had our tree up in July.

Come fall they decided Christmas would soon come around again so why not just leave it up. In December of 1996 we enjoyed the exact same Christmas tree as the previous year.

Come January the stand-off resumed. Then came February, March, and April. They sure loved that tree.

These days, to ensure I don’t inherit my parents’ ways, I use adopt-a-tree San Diego. Delivered by singing elves, adopt-a-tree San Diego provides a living tree for the holidays and then comes and picks up the tree after the festivities where it then gets planted on an animal sanctuary out in east county. My wife and I like that no trees are harmed and the planet is better off, and that neither she nor I have to engage in any kind of stand-off about who’s going to clean up the living room. Thank you adopt-a-tree. And thanks to my parents for the fun and memorable Christmases of yesteryear.

My parents’ tree eventually came down in the summer in 1997. Who won the stand-off I have no idea. I just know it was the prettiest tree there ever was, and I kinda miss it.

Jason Mraz

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