An After Christmas Story

Christmas is now over and we are into an exciting new year.  Claudia and I both experienced a life-changing event this last year; an event that was of profound importance to us.  We purchased a Christmas tree.

It all started with breakfast:

"You didn't write a Christmas story," said Claudia as she poured coffee into my cup.

I belched. "Sure I did;" and stuffed part of a syrup-laden waffle into my mouth.

"Staying in a seedy motel while someone is getting murdered, is hardly something you want to share for Christmas." admonished a very righteous wife.

I dabbed a syrupy mustache with my napkin.  "It happened close to Christmas…"

"That still doesn't make it a Christmas story," replied my wife. 

I swallowed some coffee and conceded.   "I really value your opinions, if you say that it wasn't a Christmas story, then I will take your word for it."

"Thank you so much. You can be such a brat." smiled Claudia.   "By the way, when are we getting a tree?" 

"I think we should buy an artificial tree this year." I remarked and started to slide away from the table.

"I hate artificial trees" grumped my wife.

"And I hate lying down in the mud and rain and sawing trees." I replied. "I hate tree hunting, I hate dropping needles, I hate pitch on the rug, on my clothes, on everything, I hate the thought of fire, I hate having to pay to get rid of the old tree and I..."

"I think you've made your point." Interrupted my good-natured mate. "I'll go with you, and we can look for an artificial tree…but it had better be a nice one."

Claudia and I hopped into my car and we visited all the stores that we thought might sell artificial trees.  We went to High School Pharmacy, Fred Meyers, Wally World, and our shopping didn't just stop there.  We decided to visit the big cities of Longview/Kelso, and see the offerings at Target and Home Depot.   

I love big stores, and I am always impressed with all of the wondrous things that they have to sell.  T.V.'s, computers, food, hardware, and clothes.  All at marvelous prices, and begging for me to take them home. 

"No way," insisted my wife. "We are here to look at trees, not electronic toys."

I found what I thought was the perfect tree.  It was 5½ feet tall and only cost $16.99.  I showed it to Claudia and she exuded disgust. 

We continued to search.  I found another, for $26.99, still another for $38, and none seemed to satisfy my mate.

Claudia finally found a tree that she liked.  I looked at the price tag and took a deep breath.  It cost $240.

By this time, I started to think that it might be all right to lie face down in the mud and rain.  No matter how stiff my arm would get from sawing, it couldn't possibly equal the pain of shopping or justify spending that amount of money for a tree.

"Come on sweetie" I crooned.  "There's got to be a tree that we both can like."

We eventually did get a tree.  It was 7½ feet tall and supposed to be a Nobel Fir.  I calculated the cost and figured that if we could get it to last for three years, that it might just possibly pay for itself. 

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