I know you've read this before but I'm posting it in remembrance of my Dearest Dad, as I will every year.
were dirt poor, living in a poor neighbourhood but Christmas was always
a magical time for Kit. There was no money for fripperies but Kit
needed a Christmas Tree.
"Joe, make me a Christmas Tree" she said to her youngest son.
"What? How am I supposed to do that?" he asked.
"Use your imagination" said Kit.
did she always demand such things of him, Joe wondered, just for once
couldn't she ask one of the others to come up with the impossible. Oh
well, there was no use in sulking, he would just have to get on with it
and do his best because his mother would not accept anything less.
his way back from work that day he decided to take the short cut
through the park, as for once he didn't have any errands to do for Kit
or the neighbours to whom she so readily offered his services. Busy
wondering how he could fulfill Kit's latest request he was not looking
where he was going and suddenly found himself flat on his face having
tripped over a broken branch off a tree, which had fallen as the result
of the storm the day before. Drat it, he thought as he dusted himself
off, then *ding* a lightbulb lit up in his head - he could maybe do
something with the branch! It was quite a big branch with quite a few
forks and twigs attached so he grabbed it by the thickest part and
dragged it as carefully as he could along the streets until he got it
Once home he found a bucket and filled it
with stones and soil and planted the branch carefully so that it was
secure and standing proud. He searched the cellar and found some white
paint and set to work to paint the branch. Whilst the paint was drying
he searched the house for anything that would liven the tree up; bit of
tinsel from a previous Christmas, a couple of paper chains Kit's
grandchildren had made at school, a small doll one of the grandchildren
had left lying about dressed in crepe paper would make a fairy for the
top of the branch. He carefully moved the branch to the front room and
set it in the front window, it actually looked like a Christmas Tree he
thought when he'd finished dressing it!
"I knew you wouldn't let me down" a delighted Kit told Joe.
word got round the neighbourhood that Kit had a Christmas Tree,
something no-one else had, and that's when the frequent knocks on the
door started. Neighbours arrived asking to see the Christmas Tree
bringing little gifts to hang on it - an odd earring, another piece of
tinsel, a long forgotten fripperie from more affluent times. Before
long the Christmas Tree was shimmering and sparkling and was truly
magnificent. Kit was thrilled and so were the neighbours who claimed
part of The Christmas Tree as their own. On Christmas Eve Kit's family
and neighbours gathered in the front room and sang traditional Christmas
Carols whilst marvelling at the Tree. Everyone agreed it was the best
Christmas Tree they had ever seen and vowed that every year they would
do the same thing again.
This is a true story - Joe was my Dad and Kit my grandmother.