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Christmas Trees and Solar Lights

December 21, 2014

I love this time of year.  Whoever set up this holiday season thing had me in mind.  It started when I was a kid.  Think about it!  You are going to school and in the middle of the school year, someone decided kids need a vacation.  Then in the middle of the vacation, someone decided giving and getting gifts would be nice.  Who thinks to this stuff?  The guy/gal is a genius!

 

OK, I know that has nothing to with what the season is about, but I also know we have all had these same thoughts and someone needs to say it.

 

Our family’s Christmas season starts on Thanksgiving weekend.  We go into the woods to cut down a tree.  At least that is what we say we do.  Actually, there is more to the story than that.

 

As a family we drive to a mountain resort that grows a bunch of trees.  The resort charges people to cut down Christmas trees.

 

We all got dressed in winter gear, put a saw in the back of the car and headed into the mountains.  Evidently, we didn’t bring enough winter gear.  I noticed Ivy was in the resort lodge admiring the display of gloves and mittens.  I thought Ivy was looking at the winter hand gear from a knitters perspective.  Ivy is an accomplished knitter and could knit a pair of mittens in about sixty seconds.  (OK, I’m exaggerating.)  Nope, Ivy didn’t bring mittens and was looking to buy mittens.

 

Of course, we are buying mittens that she could have made or bought in town for ten bucks.  Nope, Ivy paid twenty dollars (resort prices) for some new mittens.  Elaine saw Ivy’s new mittens.

 

Elaine:  Wait a minute, I want to go back in and buy some mittens.
Me: You have mittens on your hands. (I was hoping she just didn’t realize that)
Elaine: I know, I like Ivy’s new mittens. I want a pair also!

 

I was beginning to think this was not going to be a great day for me.

 

Depending on how tall of tree you want is how much you need to pay for your tree.  This year, like last year, we paid thirty-five dollars to cut down a tree.  If a person wanted to, you can get a permit from the Forest Service and pay ten dollars to cut down a tree.  We didn’t do that.  We like to pay thirty-five dollars.

 

We drove past the ten dollar trees to get to the thirty-five dollar trees.  Hmmm!  I guess there’s more to it.  The kids wanted to ice skate after we cut down the tree.  The resort has an ice skating pond.

 

After cutting down a thirty-five dollar tree you can pay four dollars per person to skate on the resort’s pond for a half day.  Driving to the resort we passed, oh, I don’t know, maybe a hundred frozen ponds that we could have skated on for free, but that didn’t interest us.  We wanted to pay four dollars….per person…..for a half day.  We started skating a 3:00 PM.  We could have skated until 7:00 PM but it was getting dark at 4:15, so we went home.  Well, not straight home.  We stopped for dinner at a mountain restaurant.

 

I should probably admit, I didn’t skate.  The truth is, I have never ice skated.  I thought about trying it.  I just couldn’t bring myself to pay four bucks to fall down.  (I have roller-bladed. I’m guessing it is the same thing, only you don’t land on frozen water when you fall.)

 

We don’t have many trees on our property.  The closest evergreen tree to our house is at least 1/4 mile away from our house.  Elaine decided a few years ago she would wished she could light up a tree on our property.  This was impossible until she found……..solar Christmas lights.  Yep, they have them!

 

Three years ago, Elaine sent me to The Orange Depot to pick up solar Christmas lights. We could hang lights on our house where we have electricity.  Nope, that won’t do.  We need to buy lights attached to a little solar collector.  The light strands cost more than the lights that plug into the house electricity, but hey, it’s Christmas! Every year since she has made me buy more lights.  We now decorate two trees on our property.

 

It has become my “job” to drop the twins off at school in the morning.  I love the time we spend riding together.  We talk about current events like ISIS and Ebola.  Boy Twin watches something called CNN for Kids in geography class.  The twins want my take on what they are watching.  I didn’t have these kinds of conversations with my parents.

 

One morning Girl Twin mentioned something that has become a holiday tradition.  ”Monner, my friends say there isn’t a Santa Claus.”  Being the third straight year have  I have had this talk, this is a Christmas tradition I wish would go away. Why do kids need to believe in things like ISIS and Ebola and not get to believe in Santa Claus?

 

This was my answer, “Girl Twin, my friends have been telling me that for fifty years.  I have woke up on Christmas morning to find someone put things under the tree.  I choose to believe it’s Santa Claus. Your friends can believe it is whoever they want to believe it is, so can you.  If it makes you feel good, believe in Santa Claus.  The day I stop believing is the day he will not come.  It will change Christmas forever.”

 

When you see the bell-ringers with the red pots, drop some money in the pot.  There are people out there that Santa will not visit.  Help them!  God Bless and Merry Christmas!

 

Our crazy lives!

 

Monner

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