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christmas tree, jingle bell run

Christmas Spirit

Christmas spirit is a little short this year


This is our first year with both of our girls off to college. That probably has a lot to do with it. Even when the girls were teenagers we would get a tree within a week of Thanksgiving. Sometimes it took a week to get around to decorating it, but we never waited until December 14th to get our tree.

Sunday we finally got around to getting our tree. We felt we were running out of time. The kids will enjoy decorating it when they get home.

Our Charlie Brown Christmas Miracle

We’ve cut our own trees a few times but there never seemed to be a great selection out in the field. When we got home, the trees always seemed to have scoliosis.

We’re just not good at picking trees.

I put the roof racks on my car and we headed to Home Depot.

We have 9′ ceilings so we couldn’t bring home a 5′ tall tree. We also didn’t want to spend $75 for a tree that will be up for two weeks.

As we looked at the trees we noticed that most of the tree racks were empty. The racks with trees had less than a dozen trees each: Slim pickings.

We looked at seven or eight trees, some tall and skinny, some short and stout. Many had those odd multi-pronged tops. We began to realize that we were very late in getting our tree.

I began to joke with my wife that we were like Charlie Brown looking for a tree on Christmas Eve. Much like Charlie Brown we had few trees to pick from, and what we had to pick from had been picked over already.

After about fifteen minutes of jovial tree picking we selected a tree about 6′ tall, species unknown. At the register we realized the tag on the tree was blank. No information at all. Things were just getting better for us!

The clerk called out to her manager if he could check the price. That’s when a Christmas Miracle happened.

The manager looked over at us and the clerk and said, “Go ahead, just take it, Merry Christmas!” We told him we’d be happy to go back and check for a price and he told us not to bother, we could have the tree. “Don’t worry about it, Merry Christmas.”

We were shocked, surprised, and very happy. What a nice thing for him to do. He didn’t hesitate when the clerk asked him about the price. He looked up from his sweeping and with a smile said we could have the tree for free. I think the clerk was shocked also.

As we paid for our wreath, the guy prepping the trees walked up and took the tree out front and got started. Wow.

The place wasn’t busy or anything, but we just got a free tree and the prep guy walked over to help us. I think I was almost giddy. These guys were awesome!

We had fun picking the tree and making the most of our self-inflicted predicament. Then they gave us the tree for free and top-notch service. How awesome is that!

Area of Good Feelings

Before I went to get the car I asked my wife if she had any cash. They had just infused us with Christmas Spirit. I was experiencing a moment of true joy. Everything was good.

She didn’t have any cash.

On the way to the car I took a bill from my wallet and put it in my pocket. As the guy was getting ready to tie the tree to the car I gave him the folded bill. In the dim light, I don’t think he could tell how much it was. He said thank you, put it in his pocket and kept working.

I kept joking with him while he expertly tied the tree to the car. As he worked I kept thinking how nice of the manager to gave us a tree. Wow. That really made us happy. That made our day.

I couldn’t stop grinning as I thought about our friend reaching into his pocket after we left. I hope it made his night. Home Depot and the crew in the garden area certainly made our night.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Andy, pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0




4 responses to “Christmas Spirit”

  1. txa1265 Avatar

    Love that story, Andy!

    We have had fake trees for over a decade due to allergies of wife and younger son (best change ever!), and while it is great for health, we miss going to the Lahti tree farm in West Townsend, MA back when the kids were little.

    At this point it is Lisa and I pushing things, but the kids appreciate it – no clue what it will be like next year with one gone, or the year after with both at school. We love sitting by the tree in the evening with only the tree and mantle lights on.

    And I bet you made that guys night – I remember being in college working retail over vacation one year and getting a $20 bill for helping people with a whole bunch of stuff – like you mention, it was too dark to see, so when I looked later on I was floored (that is $20 in 1985 money 😉 )

    Merry Christmas to you!

    1. OmniRunner Avatar

      It was a great moment for the two of us.
      With the kids out of the house it’s so different. It’s only been a few months for us so we are in full blown adjustment mode right now. Shock is probably a more accurate description.
      Life does change a lot when they fly the nest. But it’s all good.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Harold L. Shaw Avatar

    Doing the right thing for the right reason and a big smile what more could you ask for 🙂

    1. OmniRunner Avatar

      It was such a great experience. I’ve found that these moments come out of the blue. You can’t make them happen.