T’was the night before Christmas, I’d just flown to Seattle.
I was not prepared for the great Christmas Battle.
I walked into my house; the scene was so sad.
“Where is Christmas?” I said to my Dad.
No stockings were hung, the mantel was bare,
I thought to myself, “Does nobody care?”
“It’s Christmas Eve, and we have no tree!
Horror of horrors! How can this be?”
Then out from the kitchen she came like a flash,
“Go get a tree. Here is some cash.”
My mother’s injunction caught me off guard,
Finding a tree was going to be hard.
“It’s Christmas Eve!” I said with a start.
“It’s not like I can just go to Walmart!”
“I’m sure you can find one,” she said with a smile,
But I wasn’t so sure, as I looked mile by mile.
I canvassed and drove and looked and thought,
But there wasn’t a tree left in one single lot.
I returned home defeated, annoyed, and angry.
“Here is your money! Go get your own tree!”
But my mother just smiled, and said,
“Hmm, let’s see.”
She dashed out the door like she’d heard an alarm,
And came back home, pine boughs in her arms.
There had been a great windstorm the night before,
And many dead branches were on the dirt floor.
“My mother is crazy,” I thought once more.
I was doubtful before, but now I was sure.
What could she possibly have in mind?
This was no tree! Was my mother blind?
She dropped all the branches, saying, “Never fear!
The LDS missionaries will soon be here!”
They were coming for dinner this Christmas Eve.
When they arrived, my mom said, “Roll up your sleeves!”
“You’ve heard of singing for your supper,” she said with glee.
“Before you eat here, you must make our tree!”
One Elder looked stricken, confused and berserk.
The other flung off his backpack, said, “Let’s get to work!”
He surveyed the branches, laying supine,
And said to my mother, “Do you have any twine?”
So they twisted and lashed and lashed some more
‘Til all of the branches were off the floor.
“Do you have green dental floss?” one Elder called,
“We need it to tack the tree to the wall.”
So the tree, sad and wilting, hung over with shame,
And I thought to myself, “This is so lame.”
But my mother looked pleased as she added red bows.
I felt like I was in a Charlie Brown show.
The purist in me rebelled at the thought.
“We’d be better off with a shrub in a pot!”
I marveled at all the insanity,
But my mom just said,
“This is the year you will remember the tree.”