Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Jump Start (2): Remember When?

I was all set to write about the Christmas that I gave my dad a bird, whether he wanted it or not.  But, a glass of wine and a walk with the dog tonight got me thinking about our first, married Christmas.  Better story.  Much better one.

Himself and I were married at the beginning of October.  About ten weeks after that we were planning on hosting both of our families for Christmas Day celebrations and dinner.  And, of course, that meant everything had to be perfect.

We were living in the fixer upper house that I had purchased a few years earlier.  I had done some remodeling, but the living room still wasn’t complete.  Let’s just say it needed a lot of work.

Before the wedding we had refinished the hardwood floors.  They were stained where the previous owner’s carpet had stuck to the floor when wet.  We won’t go into how it got wet, other than it involved a cat.

The paint on the walls was peeling in a number of spots, the result of painting over cigarette smoke stains.  For Christmas to be perfect, that had to be remedied.  We picked out paint and found material for matching curtains.  We ordered blinds and an area rug.  I sewed and Himself painted.

Three days before Christmas we took a break from those chores and drove down to Amish country for a sofa table that we just had to have to make the room complete.  Since I had used all my vacation time for our honeymoon, we had to make the seventy-five minute drive after work.  Remember, this is December.  It gets dark early.  And, there are no lights along the hilly back roads.  It was somewhat light when we started out, but after we had loaded the table in the backseat of my car, it was pitch black.  As I drove, Himself kept a look out for the black buggies and dark horses for which the Amish are known.  Thankfully, we didn’t meet any up close and personal!

Two days later, on Christmas Eve, the painting was finally done, the blinds and curtains were hung, and the new table put in place.  But one thing was missing.  We didn’t have a tree.

I had remembered seeing a Christmas tree lot at the local Protestant church.  We drove down there and all the trees were dumped in a big pile.  We decided to try another place down the road, a florist shop, but they were sold out.

Back to the church we went.  We dug through pile and found something that didn’t look too beat up.  We knocked on the rectory door, hoping to find someone to pay for our find.  No one was around.  We “stole” our first Christmas tree!

We furiously decorated the tree, only taking a break to go to my parents’ house for Christmas Eve dinner.  The next morning we were up early to go to Mass and get the cooking underway.  I prepared a big turkey dinner that we served on our wedding china and crystal.

By the end of the day we were  exhausted, but happy.  It was perfect.  We got to celebrate Christmas as a new family.

That living room, not that year


  1. We made the mistake one year of waiting until just before Christmas to find a tree. Lesson learned! There's something special about that first year of marriage and making your nest together. Great story and memory!

  2. What a fun story! I can't believe y'all "stole" your 1st tree, lol.

  3. I love this! And I figure if it was put out for trash you recycled your first tree, you didn't steal it :).

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Oh, man! I love that you stole your first Christmas tree! (I don't care what Rebecca says, I'm saying that you stole it, just because it's fun, even if she is right.) Thanks for sharing the memory.