the message tree…

December 10, 2011

“Do you think you can keep on going, I mean you made Thanksgiving dreams come true?” I asked him. We cooked the entire meal together, were up on butterball.com on various phones trying to figure out exactly what you do to the outside of the turkey, we high fived when everything was suprisingly and ridiculously perfect with the meal and family togetherness.

“Let’s go for it! Push the family magic odds…we are on a roll and everything…”

You know, there is always this sort of holiday valley after those peak Everest magical moments…or rather a holly jolly nose dive into everything real. This was the Christmas tree excursion:

1. ย One of us, who shall remain nameless, was not exactly excited about the whole chopping-down-your-own-tree thing in the first place….but he/she went along with it.

2.The battery was dead when we got into the car to leave. Yet we weren’t thwarted, onward!

3. It was almost 3pm, the farm was an hour away, children still hadn’t even had lunch…yes, bad idea and parenting all around. So we stopped to grab food and crossed our fingers we could still make it before it got dark.

4. Kids were delirious upon arrival, the trees were sweet- although Charlie Brown-ish in nature, but still, this was just fine with us.

5. Jack and Josiah played tag until Jack’s shoe flew off and he stepped on a sharp twig or old tree stump- crying ensued.

6. Lucy begged/pleaded/whined for a tree nobody wanted.

7. We finally found one everyone liked except Josiah. Josiah also reminded us how often he has to suck it up- which is totally true so we decided he should get to pick the tree.

8. He picked a lovely, lovely tree…except when Jorge (the nameless) went to chop it down, he found a giant pile of dog poop.

9. Everybody laughed…because poop is funny.

10. We missed the memo that a kind tree farm friend would help carry the tree back, so Jorge carried it (along with 3 helpers that made it much harder) all the way back.

11. Got the tree measured and went to pay- tried not to faint when she told me the price- didn’t realize the fir trees were twice the cost of the rest of the trees. I smiled and gulped and told myself it was small business Saturday. Jorge whispered, “Merry Christmas!!” in my ear.

12. Kids got cider but there wasn’t enough and it burned Jack’s tongue. Everyone was now hungry for dinner even though we had just had lunch and on we went. Jorge said he would buy dinner to cheer me up.

13. I sighed/groaned like Marge Simpson and somehow soaked in the beauty of the pink sky on the way home…and managed to capture it from the moving family grouch mobile.

When we got home, I climbed in bed, ignored children, watched Hulu and slept. When I woke up very early, I found the tree in the corner with lots of tiny papers all rolled up and stuck in the netting. I opened each one and found little bits of art.

It was Lucy art- little post-its of sweet Christmas scenes, apparently her Christmas and tree experience was very much intact, still magical mountain stuff or maybe she had just moved on to the next moment. So I drew some pictures and messages and stuck them in the make shift tree mail box. We passed them back and forth for the next few days.

Part of me wished we could just leave it all that way and never open the tree up…but we did…and it was magical and messy and magical.

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12 Responses to “the message tree…”


  1. This was such a funny, heartwarming story of what happens on these December days- thank you for sharing it! It all sounded so familiar. I had to laugh out loud when your husband whispered “Merry Christmas” to you at the check out. You did a good thing- for everybody.

    And the message tree? So sweet!

  2. Jess Says:

    Sweet perfection!

  3. Brenda Says:

    oh P…you’ve done it again…made me feel normal…some of those things sound like a good idea…we romanticize them…we see them in the movies…and then when we do them, they’re not movie-perfect….but I LOVE that you and your family make them REAL-LIFE-PERFECT! You are so real, and such a blessing to your readers!
    Thank you…lovely…


  4. Thanks for the honest account of Christmas tree adventures! We will be doing our trek next week, and I will try to remind myself to let it be what it will, instead of getting stressed by the inevitable hiccups that come when you take that many kids on a trek ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Angee Says:

    I really did laugh out loud! What a great memory that will be talked about for years to come ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Jen Stevens Says:

    Yes, we go every year and pick out and cut down our own tree… and there is always a tiff amongst the kids about which tree to get, and sometimes there are tears. But when we suggest that we should just go to the Food Lion to buy a pre-cut one, they plead and cajole and beg to pleeeease go out to the tree farm and cut one ourselves. It’s a lot of work for the grownups, but I think the memories they will have of it will be so precious. Or something like that.

  7. Vikki Brown Says:

    Patience, I read the article in my Oprah mag about your blog. I really love it when others are just —-KIND. I believe kindness flowing from ONE person, has the ability to affect hundreds of people.
    Thank you for showing us that there are lots of ways to display “random” acts of kindness.

    • kindnessgirl Says:

      I am always amazed just how far it goes too Vikki, I think that is what I am so drawn to, the power of the connection. Thanks for taking the time to reach out and for the kind words!

      peace,
      p

  8. Tina Says:

    I just read about you in an Oprah email. So I clicked on your blog and began to read and you inspire me to try harder to be kind, patient and look for good in everything. Thank you and I WILL pay what I have learned from you forward.

    • kindnessgirl Says:

      Thanks Tina! It’s been so amazing how many new kindness friends I have made from the O article…I am so grateful. Looking forward to learning more about you!

  9. Eleanor Nurney Says:

    This one really made me chuckle, P. And those kind of chuckles are so precious. Especially “nameless,” or really that you “named” or should I say “outed” him. I love it. We all do things we don’t really want to do this time of year (and always) with smiles on our faces (we hope) for the sake of those we love. Poop and all, we laugh. The laughter is the wind that carries the sails. Thanks, P. You earn your name daily.
    xoxox A near neighbor friend


  10. Oh, that is so sweet … a perfect ending and the start of a great memory. Love this post.


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