Friday, December 23, 2005

My Pre-Christmas Adventure

Being a person of Jewishness, I don't have a Christmas tree my own self.  But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy other people's trees.  I like going into a house that's got a tree all decked out for Christmas -- especially real trees, 'cause they have that great scent that just smells like holidays.

My neighbors (who asked to remain anonymous on this one) have a tree.  Had a tree.  The problem being ... the tree died.  Two days before Christmas and ornaments are falling off this thing.  They're afraid to switch on the lights for fear it will go up in flames.  And the scent wafting through their living room is no longer-- what I'm trying to say here is that "death" isn't really a smell you associate with Christmas.  So they decided to buy a new tree, and asked if I wanted to accompany them.

Well, sure!  I've been Christmas Tree trimming before, but I've never been Christmas Tree shopping.  Sounds like a perfectly good experience to try out.

As we approached the first lot, we couldn't see a whole lot of trees there.  I was thinking that two days before Christmas, you could probably get a pretty good deal on a tree -- an "Everything Must Go" type of situation.  My neighbor said that it's kind of like shopping for a pumpkin on Halloween afternoon.  (This I can relate to.  The pumpkins are about a penny a pound, but they're the ones that are all smashed up on one side, or have already sprung a leak.  I lowered my tree expectations accordingly.)

There were maybe a dozen trees there, but they were all over seven feet tall.  We were looking for a five foot tree -- our ceilings just aren't that big in this building.  They had itty bitty foot-and-a-half jobs (aka "Charlie Brown Christmas Trees") but nothing in between.  We left and went to the second lot.

Second lot was worse.  They had three trees left.  Well, three green trees -- they had a small forest of those pre-sprayed white trees.  And the trees they had were way pricey.  $179 for a tree!  We started to walk away, and the guy (who clearly wanted to unload these trees) said "half price, no tax" -- but $90 still seemed like an awful lot to pay for a tree.  Especially a tree you only needed to last about 48 hours.

We gave up and went to dinner.  On the way back from dinner, we stopped at one last lot -- it was in a smog check station that had been converted from an old gas station.  A banner read:  "Santa's Forest.  Nobody Leaves Without A Tree."

We walked around.  This was clearly the largest selection of trees we'd seen all night, but they still didn't have anything in the five-foot range.  A salesguy came over to us and tried to sell us on one of the taller trees.  We explained the height thing.  He said, "I can make one shorter for you."  Next thing we knew, he opened up the back of a U-Haul that was parked nearby, revealing a truck full of trees.  They each had their branches tied up (like great big umbrellas) and were stacked on their sides.  He hauled one out and went to work on its trunk with a chainsaw.  He then ripped off the cord that was tying it and the branches immediately dropped down -- instant five foot tree.  He offered it to my neighbors for $30.  That sign was right -- nobody does leave without a tree.

So, yeah, my neighbors got a tree they bought off the back of a U-Haul.  :)  I hope this one makes it through Christmas.


dklars said...

Happy Hannukah!

helmswondermom said...

As I was reading this entry I kept thinking, why don't they (the people at the first and second lots) just suggest that they cut the tree shorter for you?  But they probably hadn't come prepared for that like the people at the third lot, huh?  $30.00 was a steal!

onestrangecat said...

Stopping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas.