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Best Christmas Memory Ever
Best Christmas Memory Ever
Just took down the Christmas tree. Now why do we say that? Took down the Christmas tree. Sounds like it was hanging from our ceiling or we wrestled it to the ground… which is more like what happened as my husband tried to help me dismantle our Christmas tree last weekend.
Yeah, we took it down…but not without a fight! It hung on to the lights as if to say, “These stay with me!” Finally, we untangled what seemed like 50 feet of red, blue, yellow, green, and white lights off the dead branches of our 2010 Christmas tree. As my husband carried it through the front doorway, our six foot evergreen did all in its power to stay! Push, pull, push, pull and then PUSH- out the door; but not before our beloved tree that had brought us so much joy just the day before, and that we had watered so faithfully- LEFT ITS REVENGE! The ingratitude! Pine needles, hundreds of them, were now all over our front room hardwood floor and the front porch. As I swept these little green razor sharp sticks into my flowerbed my best Christmas memory came back to me once again and my stress melted away. All I have to do is drive by corner lots filled with Christmas trees, or like today- take down my tree, and I am taken back 50 years.
Would you like to join me? Come along.
There I am- can you see me? I’m the little blonde-haired gangly six year old, walking proudly in the middle of my big brother and sister down Illinois Avenue. Blissful happiness abounds as we walk past old dilapidated Victorian homes. I know blissful happiness is redundant but that is just how happy I am.
Let me introduce you to Therese and Vern. Therese is my big sister. She is 10 years old; tall with dark brown hair, and Therese is my protector. Now in the mind of a six year old you must add 10 years. So my sister is 20. Vern is my only brother and I adore him with my life! He is 14 years old and tall with reddish brown hair. My brother is a self-made comedian and in my eyes he is 25 years old.
Watch out! We are running across Abby Street, a big three-lane, to the empty lot, laughing all the way. It is very cold outside and the sun is nowhere to be found, but our hearts, they are filled with joy and anticipation! These are the bleak days of winter in Fresno, but our heavy coats and gloves, and most of all our companionship is keeping us very warm today.
Aaww! Here we are! Look to your right. There’s the Royal Drive-in where you can buy the best burger in town. Hungry? Maybe later. But now, we have a job to do!
What you ask? Look right in front of you! Today the lot isn’t empty but filled with Christmas trees! I am so excited because we are about to pick out OUR Christmas tree. Read the sign with me: NOBLE FURS $5 EACH. Noble Furs the Christmas tree of all Christmas trees. Majestic!
Watch now. Stick your hands out like me and touch every tree. Don’t walk; skip like me! Breathe, breathe with me! Deep breath through the nose! There can you smell it? Christmas! All of Christmas right here in our honkers. I hope it stays!
“ Vern, what tree are we going to get?”
“The tallest and the widest, the one that can barely fit through the front door,” the comedian chuckles.
“Really, Vern, the tallest and the widest?”
“Well, we have to get a tree that is at least 10 feet tall and not more than 12 feet, ”Toni announces.
Yes, you heard right. Therese is Toni and I am Betsy McCall. My sister and I play dolls for hours and hours. Toni is a fashion model. My sister knows all about fashion so if she says we need a 10 to 12 foot tree then that is what we should buy.
“Sir Noble Fur, may we have the pleasure of your presence gracing our home for the holidays and driving our dad crazy because you are so tall?“ My brother says as he leans over holding his belly, laughing hysterically.
“We will take, we will take ( lol lol lol) We will take THAT one!” my brother stammers to get the words out as he points to our 11 foot Christmas tree.
“Vern, how will we get it home?”
“Marianne, how do you think we will get it home?”
“Really, Vern? We can do that? The police won’t arrest us? Won’t it be too heavy?”
“Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn,” my silly brother proclaims as he hands the attendant $5.
“You pick up the front end, Therese; I’ll bring up the back and Marianne you’re in the middle,” my brother barks out the orders pretending to sound like our Dad.
Do you want to come
home with us? Follow me.
Watch out! We are running back across Abby, but this time we are carrying our Christmas tree. Oh my! The cars are honking at us!
“Bah humbug and to all a good night,” my brother yells as a '56 red chevy almost clips his butt.
Once across the street we have fallen to the ground laughing and let go of our Christmas tree. Quickly we arise because the cement is so cold. “Smoke” is streaming out of our mouths with every laugh. It’s 37 degrees. Look at us. An 11 foot Noble Fur and three kids delirious with laughter……uh oh….
“Vern," I say, starting to cry. "Are we going to jail?”
“Well, hello Officer, “ my brother says very politely but trying not to laugh. He doesn't know whether to be relieved or scared because he recognizes this man as the officer that had stopped our dad the week before for a moving violation.
“Hello, son.” The officer says very seriously.
“Did you steal this tree?”
“What tree, officer? Now Vern is laughing.
“My dear boy, this is a serious matter.”
"Officer Wally, we would never steal, but if we were going to, it wouldn’t be an 11 foot tree. We would steal something smaller."
Startled, the officer asks, “How do you know my name?”
“Well, you are the officer that my dad said doesn’t know his……I mean my dad talked you out of ……I mean last week my dad almost got a ticket but because you are the nicest officer in the world you didn’t give him one.”
"Don’t tell me you are Harry Bradley’s kids?”
"Well, did you steal this tree?”
"The only person here that ever stole anything is our sister Therese. She stole a rosary case, but that was when she was three years old so it doesn’t count, Officer."
"We bought our tree for $5. Over there. You can ask the attendant."
"Oh go on, get out of here and stop laughing."
We are running the rest of the way home, Christmas tree in tow and tears streaming down our faces…..we are laughing so hard.
Turn here. Follow us! We live at 138 Clark St. The blue house.
This is it. You like it? It’s an old Victorian home, over 100 years old. Our ceilings are 12 feet high.
"What’s so funny?" my husband asked as he snuck up behind me, took the broom from my hands, turned me around and kissed me.
"Oh, just me and Therese and Vern."
"What about you and Therese and Vern?"
"Just us. Hey, what would you think if some year we bought an 11 foot tree?"
"Well, I would have to cut off three feet of it so it would fit in our house."
"Why do you want an 11 foot tree?"
"Yeh, I guess I don’t. There’s no way to compete with the best Christmas memory ever."
* The names and places have not been changed to protect the innocent because we are guilty of having fun!