A Christmas Tree's Lament
Published Dec 14, 2010

Written By



Page 1 / 23

A one-shot ... and an unexpected holiday tale.

A one-shot ... and an unexpected holiday tale. When I was a young tree in the wilds of the valley, I always did my best to stand straight and tall, so that I might grow up to be a Christmas tree. My friends all said it was a bad life--wouldn't I rather be a telephone pole, or perhaps a lovely set of chairs, or even a hardwood floor?

No! I insisted. I wanted to be a Christmas tree and bring smiles to adults and joy to children. And so I stood straight and tall, year after long year, until the men came with the saw and axes and lopped us all down. "Farewell," my friends cried as they left for the lumbermill to become parts of beds, and school desks, and picnic tables.
I was selected as part of the Christmas tree contingent, and my branches were healthy enough to make it through the "weeding-out" process. Lesser trees became wreaths. But those of us who were the best of the best ... became Christmas trees.

And here I am, a nice tree ... in a nice house. Decorated top to bottom with real crystal ornaments, 18-karat gold tree hangers, platinum-embossed ribbon ... just the absolute fanciest stuff these people could find.
Oh hey, it's Sarah.

Bratty little Sarah.

Sarah who rips my needles out for no reason and sics her cat on me.

Hi, Sarah.
"DADDY! I wanna go to the mall! I need to pick out my presents!"

"Yeah, yeah, baby ... ask your mama. What were you sayin', Monty?"

Sarah's managed to develop her dad's arrogance, in her mom's unnaturally high-pitched voice. I'd like to give her a present ... one of my branches, firmly applied to her behind.

"Yes, darling?"

"I wanna go to the mall!"

"All right, darling. Carlos! Put that phone down this instant and take your daughter to the mall!"
"Monty, hang on ... who are you yellin' at? Don't you know how to drive a car? Why the hell did I buy you a brand new BMW if you can't take that girl to the mall?"

"You don't spend any time with her, all you do is make sports bets! Put that phone down this instant--"

"Monty, lemme call you back." **click**
"Whaddya care if I make bets! If I wasn't winning, you wouldn't be able to sit around here all day doin' a whole lotta nothing! Come on, girl! If you wanna go to the mall, at least put some shoes on!"
"Don't you DARE speak to your daughter like that! Her name is Sarah, and you'd better start calling her that unless you want me to get her a new father!"

"Go ahead! They got more where you came from too!"
"Mommy, hurry! What if they sell all of the charm bracelets before I get one? My whole Christmas will be ruined!" "There there, darling! CARLOS! ... oh. He's outside. Come on, Sarah, and stop playing with that cat! You'll ruin your clothes!" "But--"

"Get in the car! Right now!"


Sarah's got issues. But that's not Sarah's fault. Sarah can't help that she was born to a washed-up football player and a second-string NFL cheerleader. Poor kid.
I thought Christmas was supposed to be a happy time of year.

Those people are not happy. The poor maid that cleans up behind them is not happy.

The only thing in this house that looks happy is that evil cat that's always tearing at the corners of the presents, and attacking my branches, and chewing the power cables.
Go away, cat.


Go the OTHER way.

These people leave me turned on day and night ... and they never even notice me. Makes me wonder why they have me around. I wonder if the maid is coming today. SHE notices me ... even though all she really does is stare at me and look sad.

Hmm, I feel a bit warmer than usual in the back. Wonder if the cat moved something around.
Oh hey, it's the maid.

Whoa, she looks really upset.

Huh, wonder why she's running away. She probably shouldn't be speeding like that in a residential neighborhood.
It really is getting hot. What'd that dumb cat do?


... oh hey, they're back already. That's funny, when they go to the mall they usually stay gone forever. They must have forgotten one of Sarah's toys. One of Sarah's many, many toys.


"Oh my god, Carlos!"
"What the hell? ... that's smoke! What did you leave on? I know it wasn't the stove, you don't cook anything!"

"How dare you! My house is on fire, and you choose to lecture me about housework?"

"Your house!? Since when is this YOUR house? You don't pay a single bill--"
"MOMMY!" Sarah is panicking. "Mommy, you have to get my kitty! He's inside!" "Carlos--"

"Woman, the house is on fire! I'm not going in there for any damn cat!"

If I could talk, I'd tell them that the cat has already escaped--he's been under the dining room table since I first got hot, and as soon as the maid opened the front door he skittered out and dashed away down the block. But I can't talk, can't yell, can't do anything besides feel sorry for them and burn their house down.


I'm not even sorry for myself. I'll disperse all over in the form of millions of pollen granules. I'll start over.

Will they?
I heard the rumors from the construction workers. Sarah and her parents had to spend their holiday in a luxury hotel. Instead sitting in front of their own tree in their own house, they had to sit in the cold lobby and stare at the hotel's tree. It was probably a lot nicer-looking tree than I ever could have been, but still, they say Sarah cried all Christmas Day. Poor little rich girl. And as for me ... well, I'm starting over.

Hopefully this time, as a piece of furniture.

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lekunzeMar 9, 2019


oldmember_hopeth174Dec 21, 2011

This was truly beautiful! I loved it \:\) I actually wanted to cry, because I thought Mr. Christmas Tree was gonna be burned up and gone forever. He was such a nice tree. *sigh*

orlov VIPOct 27, 2011

\:wub\: I wasn't around here when this story got published, but am glad that I found it. . .it has charm, wit and a good measure of pathos. . .I really like the twist you put on the ending; the tree could easily have been  yet another victim of the family's incessant want. . .leaves me hoping the proud little new tree allows itself to take on a few curves as it grows, being a headboard, or a nightstand  seems to me preferable to being a pretty xmas tree that gets dumped the day the party is over. . .but, then, it would start all over again. . .I wonder how a tree reaches Nirvana and no longer has to run the cycle?. . .Thanks for this little gem!

eviSep 23, 2011

Such a sweet story!\:wub\:

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