My interpretation of the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. I am well aware this has been done so many times that it is not all that original but I of course have a story to go with it (even if it is a little sad).
In Christmas 2001 by far was the worst Christmas I ever had. It start with not being able to fly home for Christmas, I was a poor college student, who had major surgery 2 months earlier, who worked in hospitality after 9/11, Raman was a food group (usually the only food group). I was pretty bummed I couldn't fly home but I was determined to make the most of my Christmas because I loved Christmas. A couple days before Christmas some employees found a stray cat in the air conditioning unit at the hotel and I gave her a home. I of course named her A.C. I decided A.C. and I needed a tree and some stockings so I went to the Dollar Store and bought lights, a small tree and stockings. I got the tree home and set it up, it was a sad little 8" tree. I honestly think the Charlie Brown Tree looked better but it was my tree. I hung the stockings and my tiny apartment looked liked Christmas and I had someone to share it with A.C.
The next part of this story is why Christmas 2001 was an awful Christmas, if you don't like sad stuff skip this paragraph. Christmas Day which started out like any other day, I called everyone to wish them a Merry Christmas in the process of getting ready for work. My grandfather had been in the hospital the week leading up to Christmas so I called him and he didn't take my call, the nurse said he was tired. I knew something was wrong because my grandpa took my call after he had brain surgery and it wasn't even Christmas, I called my mom to tell her and went to work. Growing up in a family business there is one thing you never do and that is call someone while they are working, unless it is an emergency. My dad called me at work and I knew something was very wrong. My grandfather took a turn for the worse and was in ICU, my grandfather passed later on that night. I admit it is a really crappy Christmas memory and puts a damper on the holiday season.
Every year since 2001 I try really hard to concentrate on making good memories and traditions (now for my children). Some have been successful (making their ornaments) and some not (making gingerbread houses). We always watch Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty, The Grinch and A Christmas Story and bake cookies (a huge favorite in our house). I try to remember the good of Christmas 2001, the days preceding it and it is really hard. Flying home my luggage ended up in France (not joking on that one), coming back sorting my mail to find my Grandpa's last Christmas Card, snowing in Savannah the day of his birthday (January 3rd) and my little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree I had.
Sorry for the downer of a tale of Christmas Past but this really has shape me and how I approach the Holiday Season. I hope everyone likes the "Little Tree" I created.