I have decided to post a few Christmastime excerpts from my second book (Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: Fresh-meat Year) this week. Please follow the title link if you are interested in more.
Deck the Halls…and Everything Else Too
My favorite time of year had arrived and I was prepared. Mom had a habit of getting tired of old home decorations from Christmas to Christmas and would decide to restock with a new theme every few years. I was surprised so much of our old stuff had made the cut to travel when we moved, but she’d had a year off since we didn’t really have Christmas that year. However, she’d seen it all again last year and it was now time for a change. I scavenged most of the stuff she set aside to donate or toss out and used it to decorate as much of my bedroom as possible. Most of it no longer matched, but I didn’t care. It was festive. It was one of the only times of year when the creepy red carpet in my room actually wasn’t so creepy.
As I Scotch taped a string of colored lights around one of my bedroom windows, I could see the Phillips’ car driving down the cul-de-sac with an enormous tree strapped to the roof, which I thought was strange since I remembered seeing them bring a tree home sometime earlier in the week. In a few minutes, while I was wrapping blue tinsel garland around the ends of my curtain rods, they left again, treeless. Then, about an hour later, when I walked out to get the mail, they drove back home with another huge tree.
It was the Saturday a week and a half before Christmas. Mom always wanted to wait as long as possible to get the tree so the needles didn’t all fall off too soon and we could leave it up through New Year’s, but we were pushing it this year. I was afraid all the good trees would be gone, so I’d begged to go that day and it was time. My mom knocked on my door.
“Come in,” I called.
“Ready? Angela just got home from work and your dad says it’s now or never.” She took a look around my room and shook her head. I knew the haphazard array of colors was not quite to her liking, but it was my room, so she didn’t say much, just, “The red carpet seems appropriate now.” There were a few ways I could take that.
We sifted through the selection at the make-shift tree lot for at least an hour before we found the right tree. My mom had brought along a couple of her more heavy ornaments to really test out the tree’s branches, and she had re-measured the spot where we would place the tree so we knew how tall and wide we could go. A man dressed as an elf prepared our tree for travel.
As my dad was paying for our tree, I spied the Phillips talking with another elf at the tree lot. “Ok, so you will hold those three trees for us? I can take the big one now, and I’ll be back for the rest tomorrow.”
“Yeah, sure. Phillips, right?”
“Writing it down now. I’ll put reserved tickets on them for you. You need help getting the other one loaded up now?”
I walked back to my family. What the heck did the Phillips need so many trees for? How many did they have and where were they putting them all? So weird. Then I noticed that the Christmas sweater and dog lady was with them. Of course. That made perfect sense.
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