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Perfect Little Tree: I reminisce about Christmases past, family, clothes and our Miracle Tree as we decorate for Christmas.
Posted by Hannah, Nov 26, 2008. 2334 views. ID = 2055

Perfect Little Tree

Posted by Hannah, Nov 26, 2008. 2334 views. ID = 2055
This post was written in 22 minutes.
Most of this is a true story. I have never talked about this before, so this was a little hard to write.
This post has been awarded 28 stars by 6 readers.

It's Christmas at our house again. Well, almost. We just finished decorating for Christmas. As we set up our ornaments and decorations, Josh Groban, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion play quietly in the background. My mom is tired and is sitting on the rolling chair as we set up our house for Thanksgiving tomorrow. It's amazing how much stuff we have for this one holiday. All of our decorations for every other holiday accumulated wouldn't come even close to how much we have for Christmas. Most likely it's because my mom loves Christmas. I don't know why. Yes, it's great that Christ was born on this day and we get to celebrate His birth by worshiping a fat guy in a red suit, but most of my Christmas experiences have been...not that great.

I don't know, maybe it's the family I come from. There are nine of us siblings, three boys and six girls. Being the second youngest of six girls has always been...hard. Especially in the clothes department. By the time I got a new pair of jeans they'd passed through four girls. They usually had graffiti on them (thank you, Lindsey), or were so ripped I could barely wear them. I sometimes took a break from feeling sorry for myself to take a look at my little sister's clothes.

My family sometimes doesn't get along. Let's just say there's never been an uneventful Christmas. Even on the least eventful, I was throwing up so hard I couldn't move. Yeah, that was a great Christmas.


The one good thing about being the second youngest is that I'm completely spoiled. Not in the usual youngest-gets-spoiled way, but in the way that my mom is my best friend. She has time to hang out with me, even if it's just to talk. I don't think my oldest sister got that. Another thing is that it's probably lucky I don't have older brothers or sisters living in our house to boss me around. I don't think my mom could handle me getting into fist fights with everyone who thinks they can push me and thinks I won't punch back.

Our family is different because our Christmas traditions aren't really normal. My dad never read us 'The Night Before Christmas' or anything like that. One of the only traditions I remember is that we don't open our presents on Christmas, we open them on Christmas Eve when everything is magical and mysterious. I think this came about when my younger sister got to the age where kids grow an alarm clock in their brains. She would wake up at an ungodly hour proclaiming the news that it was officially Christmas four hours before and she had waited forever to wake everyone up. I think she woke a few birds. Another tradition is that when we were little, my mom would take out all of the tree ornaments one-by-one and gently hand them to each of us waiting eagerly in line. A few of them even had a story to go with them. Each year my mom bought two or three new ornaments. By the time I was ten, our tree groaned under the weight. Now, it looks dead and sad because the branches hang down with two or three ornaments on each.

The last time we bought a real tree was when I was ten or eleven. We got the tree from the lot, took it home and for an hour there was a terrible smell. I don't really want to explain the smell because I don't want to remember it, but just know that it was bad. We finally found out there was...something on the tree that we had just bought. My mom ditched it on the side of the road and went to buy a plastic tree and we have never looked back.

Anyways, the other day my sister, my mom and I were at Target shopping when I started to whine about how our tree looks scraggly and how we need a new one. I want to slap my four-days-younger self right now.

The story of our Miracle Christmas Tree has been ringing in my head ever since we took out that old tree two hours ago. I feel terrible that it's Thanksgiving tomorrow and Christmas soon after and I'm whining about something that would have made myself two years ago beat me up. The story may not be that miraculous, but to a desperate mom and two girls without a Christmas, it was as if God Himself had reached His hand down.

It was two years ago this Christmas. I had just turned fourteen. Because of various reasons, we had just gotten out of an incredibly bad situation...Let's just say we were grateful to have a roof over our head. A few people in our ward knew about our situation, but really no one cared.


Mom tried to get us a Christmas tree. She really did. It's strange how most people take things like Christmas trees for granted. I mean, who can't buy a Christmas tree?

We were walking out of church, my mom having worried all night and day about how to get us a tree or maybe a few presents. I kept assuring her that Christmas wasn't about presents or trees, but as a mother she still felt bad. We walked out to the car, talking quietly (haha, we're never quiet), when we looked in the backseat of our old junker car.

It wasn't perfect. It wasn't even pretty. But it was a tree. Someone had actually broken into our car, which isn't hard as my mom never locks it, and put a tree in it. My mom started to cry and I could feel an incredible lift in my heart.

The weirdest part is, no one ever claimed the deed as theirs. We don't know who it was to this day. I just thank God that He sent an angel to give us that one, small thing to get us through that Christmas.

Now we're doing well. We live in a beautiful house, which I keep very clean as I remember how it was to not have one. I try to never complain about stupid things. i.e. "Mom, we don't have any food!" I remember how it was to really not have any food. (I should write about our green olive contests.) And the greatest thing about that time that I can remember is that we, me, my mom and my little sister, never split up, no matter how hard they tried to break us up. Since that year, Christmas has been a bit better, though there's still the clean up. I'll never stop complaining about that.

Copyright 2008 Hannah. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
 


   
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This post has been awarded 28 stars by 6 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Short Story
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Comments


Douglas
Nov 27, 2008
This is nicely written, Hannah. A very sweet story. Just a couple comments you might want to look at...

The paragraph where you talk about your "four days younger self" seemed confusing to me - I had to read it twice to get what you were saying. I don't have a suggestion on improving it, but I thought I'd mention that. I think the confusion may arise from the fact that in one paragraph you're dealing with four time frames: 1. at Target 2. taking the tree out 3. getting the tree 4. the time frame in which you're writing.

Combine this with the fact that in the previous paragraph you said "The last time we got a real tree..." (maybe it would help if you said, "the last time we bought...")

The other issue I spotted - in the last paragraph it should read "Now we're doing well." ("good" and "well" are different parts of speech, and "doing good" really means "doing good deeds").

Sorry for such a long note! It really is a good piece. :)
   ~Posted by Douglas, Nov 27, 2008

Hannah
Nov 27, 2008
Thank you. I knew that saying "doing good" sounded wrong, I just couldn't put my finger on it. I hope cutting the paragraph into two made it less confusing. :D
   ~Posted by Hannah, Nov 27, 2008

Hannah
Nov 27, 2008
&& I love your long notes because they make my work better. Never hesitate to tell me what's wrong. :P
   ~Posted by Hannah, Nov 27, 2008

Mathax
Nov 27, 2008
I'm Sorry.
   ~Posted by Mathax, Nov 27, 2008

KC Rell
Dec 1, 2008
I should write about our green olive contests.
---
Ew. 42, right?

Anywho, love the way ya wrote it :D
   ~Posted by KC Rell, Dec 1, 2008

Hannah
Dec 2, 2008
Ewww, I was about to barf everywhere. That was so gross. I still can't look at green olives the same. :O
   ~Posted by Hannah, Dec 2, 2008

Hannah
Dec 2, 2008
&& I managed to eat 43 if I remember before my tongue went numb...:D haha!
   ~Posted by Hannah, Dec 2, 2008

KC Rell
Dec 2, 2008
I was 42 you were 43, yeah xD it's amazing how much you can't just eat "one more" hehe :D I tried to but then I think I spit it out..
   ~Posted by KC Rell, Dec 2, 2008

Hannah
Dec 2, 2008
Oh yeah, that was hilarious.
   ~Posted by Hannah, Dec 2, 2008



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