I thought I had posted about this last year, but apparently not, so I thought I would share the story.
I think its a given to say that my mom cannot carry a Christmas tree by herself. I don't know how many people could (other than the guys at the Christmas tree lot). My mom also believes that real trees are better than fake trees. We had a fake tree years and years ago, but it lost all its needles after a few years. So every year when my sister and I go down for the holidays, we go and pick up a tree for my mom.
Last year my mom came to visit us at Thanksgiving, and then my sister and I didn't head down to my mom's house until Dec. 23rd for Christmas; this meant that my mom couldn't get a tree until the day before Christmas Eve. So shortly after my sister and I got home, my mom herded us back into her van and we headed to a normal tree lot. Now my mom had driven by the tree lot the day earlier and had told me on the phone the previous night (not even 24 hours earlier) that there were still plenty of trees and she thought we still had a chance to get a good one. You can just imagine our surprise when we drove up to where the lot usually is and there was no evidence of it being there. Seriously, there was nothing there. Not even a straggler tree branch. I had a confused puppy look on my face while I said, "I thought you said they were here?"
My mom replied that there was another tree lot near her school, so traipsed back into the van and scooted out that way. When we got to that lot, we at least managed to find people there. They were loading the tree packing equipment onto a van, and there were once again no trees. We apparently weren't the only confused people, because we saw a couple of other cars pull out and people get out and give the confused puppy look.
We did try to find another tree lot my mom knew about, but all we found were cars parked by last minute shoppers there. Apparently in NC, many tree lots are staffed by the people who work at the tree farms; so in order for them to be able to spend Christmas with their families, they close their lots down on the 23rd.
So last year we suddenly found ourselves as a family without a tree. While I guess we could have gone into target and gotten a fake tree, that just didn't appeal to us. We sat in the van for a few minutes when my sister said, "I think at Borders they sell tiny Charlie Brown Christmas tree kits." We laughed until my mom suddenly sat up straight in her seat, "I have a baby tree in my front yard that kind of looks like that. I'm going to have to chop it down anyway before it gets too big and destroys the foundation of my house." So it was decided that we would have Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
We went to the fabric store and bought a remnant piece of blue felt the same color of Linus' blanket and bought a big red ball (my mom has one in her ornament collection, but since we weren't going to be using any other ornaments, we didn't want to dig it out). We stood the tree up using an unused paper coffee cup with a slit cut in its base.
Need less to say, this was a memorable tree. Actually, I doubt I will ever be able to forget the year we had the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It was truly an awesome tree, and I have to say it made me smile at the holidays more than I had in a while. While part of me would love to recreate it, the spirit behind it wouldn't be the same. Instead, this year, my mom, sister, and I made sure to get to the tree lots two days after Thanksgiving and got our tree. But I also got my own small tree for my apartment to put up this year. I think the big red ball will go up on that tree to remind me of our Charlie Brown Christmas.