When I was around 11 or 12, the holidays rolled around as they always did – this year the tree was in question…. again. When you think about it though – the tree really isn’t a necessity for anything holiday related so if you have to find 25$ somewhere, just don’t buy the tree. So – we were again faced without having a tree.
But we can take a few steps back in this story and make the note that my mother loves blue spruce trees and she always wanted one. Our house was “in town” but at a dead end… probably 50 feet from being in the country… until they built the nursing home in the 2 or so acres behind our house, we had a lot of woods on 2 sides of our house. Several acres behind us (enough to go deer hunting) and hundreds of acres to the West of us – that’s the land that we cut the cedar tree down on… and that land, the land West, did not belong to us.
But in all of those woods – there were lots of maple trees, oak trees, … lots of trees, but very very very few evergreen type trees. And, most especially, no blue spruce trees.
Back to the story – Dad was somewhere out and about and found a blue spruce tree on sale for only a few dollars – and it didn’t look overly healthy but it wasn’t horribly sick. It ended up just needing a good couple drinks of water. And Dad bought that tree for Mom and brought it home… in the winter. And you wonder why it was on sale?
And that year, instead of having a full on Christmas Tree, Mikey was our tree (we named it). Mikey was around 1 foot tall and a little dry at first. My mom was a little confused but the entire family embraced the idea of having Mikey as our tree. Mom fashioned a tiny tree skirt for him and we all made tiny little ornaments. He ended up looking like a mighty fine Christmas Tree. The ornaments suited him so well that when we took photos of the tree and presents, it looked like Mikey was a regular ole tree and we just had HUGE presents that year. It was pretty funny. Anyone who stopped by raised their eyebrow at our tiny tree but never said a word.
Mikey was pretty spectacular.
After the holiday, we took his ornaments off and he went to the basement steps – Dad said we needed to get his roots to slowly acclimate to the weather so it was better if he stayed in the basement – it was cool but not as cold as outside. As the weather warmed into Spring, Mikey was just fine. In fact, he looked fabulous!
In early Spring, Mikey found his forever home in the front yard. He was a tiny little bush of a tree but he was Mom’s blue spruce… named Mikey.
The next holiday season came around and Dad decided that Mikey should not be left out. Keep in mind we never put lights outside before – but that year Dad wrapped those big ole outdoor lights around Mikey. One strand. And that one strand of lights covered Mikey – the lights were almost touching one another… and when we plugged Mikey in – boy oh boy, it was the Griswald family on that little tree. We all laughed so hard – and that’s the year Mikey got his official title: Mikey, Beacon of the Night.
Mikey was decorated in lights every year after – as he grew, his lights got further and further apart until the year Dad had to add another strand… then Mikey was just a bigger version of his first year outside.
Now that Dad has passed away and Mom has moved to a new house, Mikey is just the blue spruce in front of my childhood home. He’s still Mikey, he just doesn’t get dressed up in December anymore.