The Christmas Tree

Christmas TreeI’m sitting in my apartment, staring at the blank place where a Christmas tree should be, and tears are just flowing. Everyone is in bed at this point, so I am all alone with my bottle of Merlot, minus the glass. All I keep hearing in my head is Tony’s voice saying “Mom, why don’t we have a tree yet…if we don’t have one, Santa won’t know where to put the gifts”. He makes this comment on a daily basis, with such pain in his voice as if he feels Christmas will pass right by him for not having a tree.
At this point I am unemployed and when I reach into my wallet all I can find are some old receipts and enough lint to knit a sweater. *SMASH* The empty Merlot bottle goes flying across the bedroom and shatters on the floor, my head is spinning and I can’t figure out if it’s because of the wine I just finished off or if it’s the pain in my heart from feeling like a failure as a mother. I clean up the glass and try to compose myself. I walk over to Tony’s room and just stare at him. Poor kid has it rough and it’s not even his fault. It must suck to be 4 and think Santa won’t be able to find your house because you have no tree.

WHAT DO I DO!

The next day, I wake up feeling motivated. I’m determined to make Christmas a reality for my son. I find myself some freelance work which musters up enough money to put some gifts under the tree…the only problem is, WE STILLDON’T HAVE A TREE.  There’s about 10 days left before Christmas morning, and I still have no clue what to do!

Later that afternoon I pick up Danny, my “pseudo” boyfriend at the time and we head to my sister’s house to pick up Tony. When we get there, all the kids are all jumping up and down with excitement and grab me and Danny to show us their new tree. That thing had to be about 15 feet tall, or at least it felt that way to me at the moment. Tony’s eyes were lit up with joy and excitement; he couldn’t wait to help decorate his aunt’s tree. I had to step away before anyone saw the tears that were building up, because all I keep thinking was I wanted to give my son that light in his eyes, and I couldn’t. Once I composed myself, we gathered our things and headed home.

That Sunday, Tony went to his Dad’s house, as he did every Sunday since he was 2 months old. Danny and I had the house and the day to our selves. I had my morning coffee and we watched some TV and picked up around the house. Then Danny tells me to get dressed, we have some where to go. I was confused and not really even in the mood to leave the house, but it didn’t look like he was taking no for an answer. So, clothes went on and out the door we went. We were driving around aimlessly, or at least I thought so. He refused to tell me where we were going, so I stopped asking.

Then, we came to a stop. When I stepped out of the car, we were in a field of sorts and the smell of pine was in the air. When I looked up…all I saw were Christmas trees for as far as the eye can see, and he whispered “Pick One”. My heart melted and I wanted to cry, but I was so excited I skipped that part and started looking for my perfect tree. After going through rows and rows of trees, I found the perfect one. It looked like the kind you see in cartoons; just to perfect too be real, but there it was, right in front of us. We strapped it to the roof of the car and took it home.

Of course I had no decorations of any kind, but Danny came through again there too. He and his mom gave me everything I needed to put the tree together. That night I made some eggnog, maybe with a little bit more rum then called for, but hey, I was celebrating. We put on some Christmas Carols (Danny’s least favorite part of the evening) and we began putting the lights on the tree. Before we knew it, my house finally felt like Christmas. Needless to say, I finally dropped the “pseudo” and Danny became my boyfriend.

We left the star and a special ornament out for when Tony came home.

The next day when Tony’s dad was on his way, it felt like I had ants in my pants I was so excited! My little boy was going to get a real Christmas after all! When he walked through the door, his eyes lit up and he just hugged me and said “Thank you mommy!!!!! Now Santa will find our house”. My eyes filled up with tears again, but this time from joy.

In the end, it all worked out, as it almost always does. “Santa” found his way and my son might not have had the most ideal Christmas or the fanciest gifts, but to him it was the world, and that completed mine.

 Written by Veronica Diaz

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