A holiday blog in three parts
from author and speaker Liz Curtis Higgs
In our family every Christmas has its own special memory: the Christmas I made smoked turkey without meaning to; the year I handed out gifts in brown paper bags with drawn-on Sharpie bows; the Christmas Day we spent on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, featuring a great deal of whining and not much ho-ho-ho.
Then there was the year I spoke our Christmas tree into existence.
I don’t mean, “And then God said, let there be….” I mean, I gave a speech for a local charitable organization, and my honorarium was a ten-foot artificial tree, decorated from top to bottom.
Since we were in the middle of moving at the time, it was truly a gift from heaven. A free Christmas tree, ready to plug in? Oh baby.
I was painting the dining room ceiling when the phone call came: “Mrs. Higgs, we’re ready to deliver your tree.”
“Great!” I said, my voice bouncing off the bare walls. “How ’bout next Wednesday?”
A long silence. “We’re a block from your house.”
“Are you kidding?!” I hastily backed down the ladder, looking at the paint cans, the moving boxes, the decidedly not-ready-for-prime-time house.
They were not kidding. I met them in the driveway, then watched, wide-eyed, as two men unloaded our fully decorated tree.
It was enormous.
“Where do you want it?” one guy asked, grimacing beneath the weight.
Our empty garage seemed the logical spot.
They grunted and sweated as they dragged the tree down the driveway. Surely it wasn’t THAT heavy. Relieved to check one thing off my lengthy to-do list, I headed back to my painting, as the garage door slid shut behind me, the tree already half-forgotten.
A busy week flew by before it popped back up on my radar. “Time we brought in the Christmas tree,” I announced to my husband, Bill.
He frowned. “What tree?”
“The one in the garage. I’ll hold the door open while you carry it in.”
Rolling his eyes, he pulled on his coat, then headed out into the night. When the garage door swooshed open, I heard a distinct groan with my name in it. “Liz-z-zz!”
It was not a pretty sight. Bundles of cinnamon sticks, once neatly tied to the branches, now dangled forlornly, having served as a holiday lunch for some hungry squirrels. A stray cat had celebrated the season by knocking the mice-sized ornaments from one end of the garage to the other. The angel perched on top was drooping sideways, obviously ashamed of what had transpired below.
“Oh, Bill!” I moaned, my eyes stinging with tears. “It’s ruined!”
* * * * *
(Any hope for a holly jolly Christmas at the Higgs house? Pop in for Part 2 tomorrow…)