Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What happened to the Christmas tree

Marcella posted this to an email list we're on and it's the best Christmas story I've heard this year:
I'll tell a story on my mom. My mom is and was a super, duper neat and tidy housekeeper. Her cleaning schedule was Crazy! but suffice it to say that our home always smelled of bleach or ammonia and all our clothes including underwear were well pressed.

My mom loves Christmas but it was also stressful for her. She liked to decorate, but she was more than ready to have every strand of tinsel gone before the holidays were over. We always had to have our presents put away neatly after we'd opened them - no piles of presents under the tree or scattered in the living room. My dad would throw away the wrapping paper as we unwrapped the gifts; I doubt any ever actually hit the floor.

So it was with great delight that January 2nd came and we kids went off to school and mom could purge the house of every last bit of holiday decor and get things "back to normal".

Well, one year we had a "real" tree. About killed my mom keeping every last pine needle off the carpet. To make matters worse, we were living in Boulder at the time and in those days the law was during the windy months trash cans had to be kept in the garage. The trash men would open your garage door and take them out and empty them and return them to the garage. This did not make my mother happy at all. She hated having the trash cans "inside". The idea of having the dead tree in there too for another week was just too much.

So she burned it.

Not like a normal person who would chop it up into pieces and build a fire - that would be bad enough being a pine tree.

Nope. All At Once.

Ever see How the Grinch Stole Christmas? And the Grinch shoves an entire Christmas tree up the chimney?

Yeah, like that.

My sister and I were walking home and she happened to look up and see flames shooting out of the chimney (of our two story home) and she yelled "run" and took off. I followed her and when we got to the house our mom was standing on the porch with the double front doors open and she was waving the smoke out of the house with the newspaper. Every window was open.

She very camly said "quick girls, help me fan the smoke out before your father gets home" And without even a question we each grabbed a section of the newspaper and started helping to fan smoke out of the windows.

Mom went to the garage and soon returned with painting supplies. The extreme heat from the fire had caused the paint on the mantel to bubble up. In no time at all she'd sanded the mantel and slapped on a new coat of white paint.

By 4:45 everything was back to normal, the windows were closed and she was in the kitchen making dinner for when dad arrived home at 4:50.

Every time I see a Christmas tree I think of my mom shoving ours up the chimney and smile.

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