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(the sad story of) Our First Christmas Tree

Updated on March 14, 2013

This was us last year - having a very, very merry Christmas.

Here's the best (and most beautiful) wife and mother ever, with our first 3, Sarah, Natalie, and Mary (eventually joined by Mickey Jr, Olivia, and Benny).

Our first Christmas was the Christmas of a newly married couple of hippies who had been sweethearts for the previous three years in high school. I was not (am not) at all a very conventional sort, while my lovely wife has always been a very traditional homebody mom and wife.

Now, I assumed, that first Christmas, that we would not be having a tree. I was not at all opposed to celebrating Christmas and I wasn't interested to save money, etc - for me it was a matter of sorting through in my own head the ludicrous scheme before me. Chop down a tree and bring it into your house to celebrate the birth of Jesus . . ? . . it just struck me as such an absurd procedure that I couldn't quite bring myself to participate (I kind of need a logical and practical reason for things - 'everybody does' or 'that's just the way it is' just bounces right off of me).

Now, we didn't have much; little money, no car, no decorations, minimal gifts for each other - but we did have three doggies . . . Dave, Ruth, and Larry. So, Christmas Eve I begin to sense my dear wife does not seem happy . . . this became observably clear when she began to weep. She wanted a Christmas tree. Apparently she had just been going along with my silliness, not wanting to be difficult, but now, at about 10 pm Christmas Eve, my darling was crying for a Christmas tree. So out I ventured into the cold dark night to give my baby our first Christmas tree.

Our last dog, and the best dog ever, Leonard.

Grandma sweetheart with just a few of her grandsons.

Just a block and a half away from our tiny apartment was a gas station selling trees, so I headed that way. Of course, everyone already had their tree and all the tree sales folks were nestled all warm in their beds - the place was dark and deserted. There were only three or four trees left, lying on the ground in a puddle, so I grabbed one by the trunk and, and, and was stopped dead in my tracks - the puddle was frozen solid and was not giving-up this tree. I had to walk back home and get a table knife (the closest thing I had to any manner of tool) and return to hack my wife's tree loose.

. . . and hack and hack and hack. I was on my knees, with a table knife, no gloves, digging away in the dark trying to free a ragged old Christmas tree from an ice puddle in the lot of an abandoned gas station, for at least an hour. By the time I dragged that tree down the road and in the house I was spent - I got a cinder block from the side of the house, put in a corner and stuck the tree in it leaning against the wall. We stuck our couple gifts to each other, and to our puppies, under the tree and went to bed.

What a giant treat when we woke-up in the morning. The great chunks of ice frozen to the back of the tree had melted overnight all over our gifts and the floor and Dave, Ruth, and Larry had tracked it all through the rest of the house - except, it wasn't chunks of ice, it was chunks of frozen mud that was now a great pool of liquid mud under our first Christmas tree and all over our presents and all through our house and all over our dogs. Of course now, we love our first Christmas tree and our first and only Christmas mud puddle - it's one of our great 'those were the days' stories that remind us of who we are, where we've been, and how we've come through all together. Merry Christmas!


Below is just a little clip of a Christmas about 20 years ago . . . so you can see (if you look quickly) at a more recent tree.

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    • profile image

      Mickey Jr 5 years ago

      Is it my turn now?

      Dad - hey, Dad! Is it my turn?

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 6 years ago from Irl

      Brilliant and great video footage too

    • MickeySr profile image

      MickeySr 6 years ago from Hershey, Pa.


      Thanks. You know, when you say "Talk about a story to tell through the years" it reminds me that I questioned, and wasn't completely happy, putting the parenthetical "(the sad story of)" in the title, because it's not at all sad to me, but I thought it unfolded as a sort of seemingly sad tale.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is such a beautiful story. No doubt it will circulate again and again as a holiday inspirational story.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 6 years ago from Space Coast

      I don't know you, but I love you. Kiss your family for me!

      I play a mean harp. Let's get together. We can do it on the net.

      I am working with young dudes who have a production company and know the drill. We are Florida Surfers (Best in the World) and know how to Flow. We call him Jehova, Jah, Jesus. The Bible says that God has a name that only he knows. We are all excited. He is going to tell us what it is someday!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Ahhh Micky this was such a wonderful warm story..I loved it..Thank you for sharing..

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      great story Mickey. I also love the dog names.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Aawwww! You did make it home and the VW Bug ornament is precious. Talk about a story to tell through the years. I am glad you shared your story with us. :)

    • MickeySr profile image

      MickeySr 6 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      homesteadbound, AEvans, & RealHousewife,

      What a big old treat for me to come on here and find your warm and encouraging comments. I pondered if I should include in the title of this hub the 'sad story' bit, because it was actually a wonderful time in our life and a sweet memory to own - but, on my knees at a freezing 11 pm hacking away at an icy mud puddle with a table knife, it would certainly appear to most as a 'sad story'.

      I was thinking of saving this Christmas tree story from a few years further down the road for a hub next year, but I'll just share the brief facts with you here; a few years later we owned our first car, an old VW bug, so I went out to get trees for everybody. "Everybody" meant us, my sister, and my mom . . . which means I was driving around in a mobile bush - a VW bug with 3 Christmas trees tied to it.

      It was (again) a dark, cold night and as we (my wife and our first 3 kids)raced to return to the comfort of our home I suddenly heard a 'ptwing' and one of the trees flew of the car landing at the side of the road. "Well, there goes Aunt Melanie's tree" I said. Almost instantly another 'ptwing' - "There goes grandma's tree" I said without pause. One of my kids asked "How do you know the ones that flew-off the car were Aunt Melanie's and grandma's?" and I answered "Because if we make it home with a tree, it's ours".

      We did make it home with one and now, every year, we have a Christmas tree ornament of a VW Bug with a Christmas tree tied to the top of it. ()and, I did follow my tracks the next day and recovered my mom's and my sister's trees - everyone got a tree).


      RealHousewife - the music in the background of the video is John Mayall's "The Turning Point" LP . . . it happened to be playing when this Christmas video was taken so now every year it's come to be included in our family's Christmas music collection.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Mickie Sr! I loved your hub! I loved the video of your beautiful family:) I even like the back ground music! lol

      So sweet that you went out and got that frozen tree for your lovely wife - I am sure acts of kindness like that go a long way. Happy 2012 to your and yours:)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      what a beautiful story. You also saved a Christmas tree so that it could be use on Christmas Eve. :)

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      There are so many good, and I believe even better, writers than myself on hubpages. I'm not sure why I was selected other than I have made a profound connection with others through my writing, my comments or other interactions here on the hub. But I have thanked God many, many times for His blessing and providence concerning this. And I thank you for your warm congratulations.

    • MickeySr profile image

      MickeySr 6 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      homesteadbound, thanks so much for taking the time to visit one of my hubs and especially thanks for the generous comment. This story is from very early in our life together - if you'd like to see the circumstances of our meeting and how things went as the years proceeded ~


      and a giant congratulations on a remarkable accomplishment . . . #1!

    • MickeySr profile image

      MickeySr 6 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

      Kimberly, one of the biggest treats I enjoy these days is coming here and finding you've left a comment on one of my hubs. Thanks always.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      This was really a nicely done hub. I can feel the warmth and love that you have for your family and with your family. Your wife is truly blessed to have someone that loved her enough to go out and chop "loose" a Christmas tree. It sounds like you were able to have many wonderful moments to cherish together. Cherish your family ...

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing Mickey I wish you nothing but love and happiness in the new year with your hub

      I thoroughly enjoyed this hub, for what it's worth, I love how it is written especially almost as much as it's wonderful original content.

      Hope you keep em coming


    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Nice! Keep 'em coming, MickeySr! I love the way you write and touch the soul!