Pray With Me
As soon as I agreed to do Christmas, and I mean the whole nine-yards, I began planning it in my mind. I find that if I coordinate the delivery of the trees and the installation of the 3000 lights four days apart, my trees enjoy some time to acclimate to their new environment. When you think about the traumatic journey they go through before they arrive at my house—we cut them, drag them out of the forest, we smoosh them, bind them, and throw them into a truck. Then, when they are delivered, we get cruel as we put the trees through more trials—we screw them to stands so they stand straight and won’t move. It’s a lot for a tree. So, before I attack my trees with lights, ornaments, and icicles, I let them recover—I water them twice a day and hope they will open their branches as if they were still out in the forest.
But, before all of this, I do some preparation. I get my ornaments in order. Two days ago I went to the basement and pulled out the holiday boxes, twenty-one in all, and carried them up the stairs to the main floor. I moved all the chairs away from my dining table, covered it with a table pad and started to organize my exquisite collection of jesters. I had to take the time and carefully iron some of them to smooth out the wrinkles. With so many jesters and such a big tree, it is helpful to have them grouped and organized, so when the time comes to hang them, I can spread them evenly throughout the tree branches, making the tree look balanced and beautiful.
We buy our trees from the same gentleman for over twenty years. He delivers the tress to our house and puts them in a stand. Yesterday morning I called the tree man to reserve and schedule the delivery of my trees, as I do every year. However, the conversation didn’t go as I’d expected. Though the voice resembled the voice I’m familiar with, and the man confirmed that I was talking to Rick, something didn’t sound right. I quickly realized I was speaking with the tree man’s son, whose name is also Rick, but Jr. The call which should have taken just a few minutes turned into a thirty minute conversation, as Rick Jr. told me that six months ago his father had been in a car accident and has been in a rehab center ever since. Rehab has always sounded promising to me, but after I heard all the details, I doubted my tree man would ever deliver me a tree again.
As I shared the news with my husband, I finally let my emotions out, and tears rolled down my face. My husband’s devastation upon hearing the news was apparent. . A few hours later, he approached me, “Maybe we should skip the trees this year,” he said.
“I’m glad you are saying this. I feel the same way.”
“It’s just odd after all these years to have someone else deliver and set up the trees.”
“I know. Without the tree man, it’s not the same. I can’t imagine someone else bringing our trees… not even his son.”
“You’re right,” my husband said.
“I’ll still make your holiday special,” I said to him as I envision my house saturated with poinsettias and my grand piano covered with my collection of jesters.
Pray with me for my tree-man.