Monday, November 29, 2010

Pee On A Tree

There is economizing and then there is ECONOMIZING. This time of the year for we unemployed and those trying to support a family on a shoestring is difficult at best. With all of the commercials encouraging us to make this Christmas the best ever and stores filled with carols and tinsel, it is hard not to feel the burden of an empty pocket.

My daughter is making her presents for most of the family this year. Her knitting is prized, so no one will mind one bit receiving these gifts of her hands. The kids and I are making our presents to give out starting Wednesday. We have more than our 25 days worth of gifts created from their hands. Pinecones have become sparkling ornaments. Precut ornaments are painted, sometimes a bit out of the lines.

My arthritic hands with painful joints take away my ability to do handwork. The gifts of needlepoint and cross stitch are a thing of the past. Tied ribbons and rolling cookies are difficult. This Christmas is not easy.

My daughter and I were not sure how to we were going to buy a tree. Then she had a call from a friend asking if we wanted to go to "Pee On A Tree". Hm.

"Don't worry, Mom, we take Puddles (the dog) to pee on a Christmas tree at Sleighbells Tree Farm. If he pees on a tree, we get a free Christmas tree."

Our moneyless Christmas was looking up. We could have any tree up to 7' tall.

"You mean the dog will pee on our tree?" I asked a bit concerned.

No, the dog just needed to pee in the area set aside for peeing dogs. Hm, again. Puddles doesn't do what we want him to do on a good day! How will we get him to pee on a tree!?

We arrived at the tree farm an hour early. A line was already formed. Thank goodness there was no rain in sight and the temps were mild. Puddles went crazy. Big dogs, little dogs, a dog with a pink tail, a couple of pit bulls, fat dogs, skinny dogs, old dogs, young dogs, dogs with a lot of hair, dogs with little hair, mutts, dogs with a lineage as long as the line of owners and dogs waiting to see if their dog would win them a free tree. Dogs.

Had we been smart, we would have kept Puddles in the car until we were ready to set him off on his peeing adventure. However, we weren't smart. The path to the front of the line was muddy. Puddles would only settle down if someone held him.....and if we held him, he wouldn't pee too early. Soon we were all muddy.

Finally, the festivities began, cheers rose up from the front of the line as doggies peed. Our friend's dog set a record with a 3 second time. Nerves were on edge as Puddles was called forward to perform. Gabby took hold of the leash and walked to the trees. Puddles sniffed and sniffed. Time ticked and ticked. From the sidelines we cheered, "C'mon, Puddles. You can do it!"

This little white dog who usually squats lifted his leg and made his family proud. For just a few minutes, the free tree was not important. We had a dog who came through under pressure. He was our wonder dog.

With muddy hero locked in the car, we set off to find the perfect tree. Standing next to the tree binder, my daughter exclaimed, "That's our tree!"

"Stacey, that is not our tree," I observed.

"Yes, it is. Read the tag."

I read the tag. Indeed it was marked with her name.

"This isn't our tree, Stacey."

"It does look bigger than our tree," she replied finally considering the idea that the tag was put on a wrong tree.

I could touch the top of the tee on the hill. This tree was at least 7' tall. Last time I checked I was 5'1".

Lovingly she informed the girls that we were going to have a surprise. Feelings were mixed, but the situation soon became funny. We decided to love this tree no matter what strange shape unfolded when the cords were cut. Our hopes turned to a Charlie Brown tree.

Stacey and I carried the heavy tree into the living room. We braced ourselves.

"Mom, it's beautiful."

Indeed it is beautiful. It may be the most beautiful tree we have ever had to grace our home.

Yes, our belts are tight this holiday season. Presents will be fewer. Yet the surprises that Christmas brings will be aplenty. Ours began with a dog peeing on a tree, and God giving us the best tree ever.


  1. Your dog will need counseling later in life.

  2. Your dog will need counseling later in life.

  3. Ben, we are gearing the dog up for next year. Lots of walking in front of pine trees after a huge drink of water.

  4. this one put a tear in my eye Pam! We will do it all again next year. Love you!

  5. We're giving you competition for winning time next year. Thanks, Melissa, for giving us a wonderful day and the perfect tree. Couldn't have done it without that invite. I love you, too.