It’s the holiday season once more and it never fails, I, Tracy Madlener become a mushy ball of sentimental goo with no rhyme or reason that even listening to Bruce Springsteen’s rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” will put me in tears! As soon as December 1 is marked off the calendar, I start reflecting about where I’ve been, or where I’m going. Maybe I’m getting older… did I just say that out loud?? Or maybe I’m just a sucker for anything that resembles miracles and happy endings.
Reflection also comes with the sentimental package and please don’t let me run out of tissues! There is one memory from a past Christmas that has me crying, every year… and then my tummy hurts, and then I’m crying some more because I can’t stop laughing. That was the year I lived in Hawaii and I painted my Christmas tree white.
Uh huh, you can stop giggling now and I’ll explain why I did what I did…
Back in the before I had children days, my Hubby and I got a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving (Note to self: Never buy a live tree the day after Thanksgiving, put it in the corner of windows known as the Sahara and invite all your family and friends to come over for Christmas Eve). We brought this tree home to our high rise condo, decorated it and went about our every day schedules. Hubby traveled often to the mainland for business and I was traveling inter-island as I was a flight attendant for a local carrier.
Over the next few days… were my eyes deceiving me? It looked like the tree was turning… a brownish green? Nah, we just got it, we’ve been watering it and taking care of it… a few more days go by… Hmmm, the tree IS turning brown and we still have another week and a half before Christmas! “Not to worry…” my Hubby says, “…we’ll just get another one.” That was the start of our many long distance telephone conversations that involved getting another tree. Little did we know, while these phone calls were taking place, the last tree on the island was being purchased.
Okay, I KNOW what to do!! I’ll use the snow stuff that you would use to spray on the windows to make… you know… SNOW and I’ll flock the tree myself! Ah ha! That’s it! So by myself, I undecorated the tree (gee, there are a LOT of needles on the floor), carried it outside to the lanai (it means patio but that’s what it’s called in Hawaii) and proceeded to “flock” the tree on the 20th floor on an extremely windy day… can you see where this is going?
After the umpteenth time picking the tree up off it’s side, I brought it back in, restrung the lights, redecorated the tree, stood back, took a look and… uh huh, yeeeeah… it made the tree from Charlie Brown’s Christmas look like the perfect storybook tree, you know, the one with the happy ending. Oh my, I wasn’t sure what to do and I didn’t have any more time that day as I had to go to work.
Walking to my plane, I kept asking my flight crew how many security cameras they thought were in the airport. I was scheming in my head how to not get caught if I “borrowed” a tree because the airport had so many and they were all ALIVE. This made for a running joke throughout the day with my crew and every time we saw a tree, the jokes and wildly funny made up stories about me would commence. And by the time my shift was over, these stories of me dressing up in black like a ninja and spraying the cameras with “snow” didn’t seem half bad.
As I was walking back to dispatch to check out from work, I counted all the Christmas trees that were put up by the company I worked for… DING DING DING another light bulb moment… it occurred to me that there was a tree in the flight attendant lounge! Once again, the thought of me looking like a stealth tree burglar came to mind and a smile spread wide across my face.
So Christmas came and went and the flight attendant lounge was barren and lonely… but my house had an AWESOME Christmas tree in it! Another happy ending (please pass the tissue) and a miracle of sorts… Hey, I had permission… I promise!