There is a story about this tree and when people have heard it they wanted a picture so here is the story and picture of the final product. Hope you enjoy!
Driving down a street in San Bernardino Felicia (James' niece) and I spied a yard sale with an ugly white tree for sale sitting on the curb. With much persistence James turned the car around and drove back so that we could inspect our find. After getting the price negotiated down we placed the tree in the car in what ever angle we could get it to fit (James and Ken remained in the car laughing) and took it home to Debbie who had no tree.
Mike groaned and Debbie swallowed a lump in her throat but decided that since this was the only tree available to her kids she would make the best of it. With encouragement from me we embarked on the enthusiasm of getting this tree decorated somehow.
I should tell you at this point that Deb's tree and ornaments are all in storage in Turlock and she could not get to them. As we had to get the car fixed on this trip we also were too broke to buy what would normally be considered necessary for a beautiful Christmas tree.
A quick trip to a closeout store brought a string of lights, a dozen miniature bulbs and one strand of green garland. Felicia wanted this tree to resemble a tree and generously shared her resources to provide these things. Mike's mother gave Deb scraps of fabric to "see if we could do anything with this" kind of thing.
That evening we all sat around the table and got to work. There was construction paper, wood glue (you guessed it, Deb was out of Elmer's glue), old photos, raisins, beans, cookie cutters, tooth picks and many more odds and ends (including buttons off clothes the kids had outgrown). We were very creative and resourceful. Ornaments started coming together as well as a very long paper chain as inspiration rolled through our veins. Laughter filled the house and many "remember when" stories were told. It was more fun than money could have bought.
The following day, Saturday before Thanksgiving, we celebrated the upcoming holiday with a family turkey dinner. Even this was done on a budget and so some of the dishes we would normally have were omitted but not really missed. It was OK that Debbie ruined the gravy because she totally forgot to fix potatoes till we were passing dishes around.
At the end of the meal we cleared the table and got out the sad, pathetic white tree and Felicia helped Debbie start to assemble the branches onto the pole. Remember that when you get a tree from a yard sale it will come with no instructions so all has to be figured out by guess and by golly. Eventually they had it all figured out even though the men sat on the couch only to laugh at the many attempts to make this thing resemble a tree. Lights went on and that helped a little but we all knew that we had our work cut out for us.
Remember the fabric I mentioned? Well, there were several pieces of a red sequin fabric in the bag and Debbie got the bright idea to tie strips of it to the tree in rag style and so it happened. Imagine the amazement of us all when that actually looked good! Even James had to admit it was starting to look better. The garland went on, more fabric tied and then the kids hung ornaments. Already we found there was a story to go with almost every ornament and many memories were made. Before we knew it the tree was transformed into a beautiful Christmas tree.
And so here is the picture! Merry Christmas to you all from the Card family.
This is Carol's telling of the story. More comments from Debbie's perspective and mine can be found on the Memories page at Early Thanksgiving and at Pistachio Shell.
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