Oh, Christmas Tree! This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Every family who celebrates Christmas gets "a" Christmas tree, but only my family gets "the" Christmas tree. Of course, "the" Christmas tree is hard to come by. It can certainly not be an artificial tree. No one at my house could live with a hunk of molded plastic made in Taiwan in place of a real live tree grown in the U.S.A. We can't even just go to the corner and buy a real tree; we have to chop it down.

We used to go to Brooksby Farm, trudge through snow and mud on our quest for the perfect tree, and finally find it, perfectly shaped, brilliantly green, and 15 feet tall.

Unfortunately, our ceiling is only half that size, and so my dad would engage in a sport he invented himself , tree wrestling. He'd hurl himself around the two-hundred pound snow-covered menace, chopping off the top and chopping off the bottom, and, fortunately for my father, the tree would never win. Finally he would lash it, now essentially square, to the roof of our car, mumbling something about how he didn't understand why he went to college to end up tackling a pine tree.

Now when we want the perfect tree, we chop it down in Georgetown. There we can have the pleasure of our own little bit of deforestation, and the attendants graciously tie our tree of almost perfect height to our car (not involving my dad). This way my father doesn't break any limbs, at least not until we try to stand the tree up at home. That part of the story often involves violence and explicit language though, so I'll just skip to the excitement of decorating the tree.

We now live in the age of compact cars and compact discs, and it gets more difficult every year not to get a compact tree. Our tree gets thinner and thinner as we get more and more decorations, and we are now at the point where we cannot easily see our tree because it is surrounded by a solid wall of every ornament imaginable. We have everything from sentimental relics from my preschool days to a stuffed fish we recently got from a McDonald's Happy Meal. Somehow, though, our tree eventually turns out all right.

Every year we go through this insane ritual, and we curse our tree for being an ugly sin, but we're perfectly willing to chop a tree down again next year. Every year we are convinced that we have the best Christmas tree ever. n

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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GreatDaneLover said...
Feb. 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm
This is my family too.
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