A Christmas Tradition

Believe it or not, every word of this story is true. We witnessed it with our own eyes.

Several years ago, our dear friends Terry and Addie decided to start a new christmas tradition. Addie, her sister, and their daughters would leave the menfolk behind and head up to the Boone area of the North Carolina mountains to select a christmas tree. They would stay the night, take the kids on a hay-ride up the mountain, select a tree to be cut, and bring it back home to be decorated. It was to be the beginning of a fine family christmas tradition.

Aside from a cold rain falling on the day they were to select a tree, the trip went very well. Addie arrived back home to proudly show Terry the beautiful christmas tree they had selected.

Now, Terry never has been the most enthusiastic of Santa's helpers. In years past, he wouldn't even bother taking the lights off his artificial tree. He'd just stuff it up in the attic, decorations and all, so that the following year he wouldn't have to be bothered with decorating it again. Addie knew she'd have to keep a close eye on him as she prodded him into helping with this year's decorating.

However, after seeing how incredibly beautiful the tree was, Terry didn't require much prodding. He took the tree out to the garage, trimmed away the bottom limbs, and carefully placed the tree in its stand. Once inside, he actually enjoyed himself as the family decorated the tree. He admitted to them that it was, indeed, the most beautiful christmas tree he'd ever seen.

After the tree trimming was complete, Terry went back out to the garage to fetch a bucket of water for the tree. While there, he spotted one of those hose-end attachments filled with Miracle-Gro fertilizer. Rather than leave it in the garage all winter to freeze and be ruined, Terry decided to dump it into his watering bucket. Surely the beautiful tree would appreciate a little fertilizer.

What Terry failed to realize was just how concentrated this fertilizer was. He'd just dumped enough Miracle-Gro into his bucket to fertilize an entire golf course.

Once back inside, Terry filled his bucket with nice warm water to help the Miracle-Gro dissolve. Addie spotted the steaming bucket of water.

"Terry," she said, "are you sure you should be using hot water on the tree?"

"Oh, it will be fine" he replied.

"But Terry, the water is BLUE! What are you doing to our tree?" Addie asked.

"It's just a little Miracle-Gro" Terry replied. "It's good for the tree. The stuff's harmless. You could drink it!"

With that, he began pouring the vile mixture into the tree stand, only to spill a large portion of it on Addie's cream-colored carpet.

"Terry! Look at that! We'll never get that blue stain out of the carpet!"

As Terry would later learn, he would have been much better off just dumping the entire bucket on the carpet. Instead, he poured the balance of the bucket's contents into the tree stand. This would be the last liquid ever consumed by the beautiful little unsuspecting tree.

The following day, Terry went to water the tree again. It had soaked up the entire previous day's mega-dose of Miracle-Gro.

"See, Addie," he told to his wife confidently, "The tree loved that Miracle-Gro!"

The following day, Terry noticed that the bottom few branches of the tree had lost an alarming number of their needles.

The day after that, needles began falling from the entire bottom third of the tree.

The next day, Terry came home from work, only to be greeted by a very unhappy Addie.

"What have you done to our poor little tree?", she demanded.

Terry walked into the living room to examine the tree. He was shocked by what he saw. The entire bottom two-thirds of the tree was bare! A three-inch thick carpet of needles littered the floor and presents beneath the tree.

Poor little christmas tree.
Poor little christmas tree.

Clearly, the tree was a goner - a victim of Miracle-Gro overdose.

Terry carried the christmas tree corpse out the back door, and tossed it into the yard. It was so hideous looking that neighborhood dogs actually gathered around it, barking and growling.

Terry, embarrassed by wife, daughters, and neighborhood dogs, slinked out to the garage to fetch his shop-vac. There, lying on the garage floor, were the limbs he'd trimmed from the beautiful tree just a few days previous. They were still a beautiful shade of green, with needles firmly intact.

He proceeded back inside to vacuum up the needles left behind by the demised tree. He was so amazed by the devistation he had wrought that he weighed the needles he collected. The poor little tree had dropped thirteen and a half pounds of needles on its way to meet its maker.

When Terry finally finished cleaning up the mess, the only reminder of the terrible things that had transpired was a large, blue stain on the carpet.

And thus, a new Christmas Tradition was born. For years to come, the tale of Terry's cruelty to defenseless christmas trees will be passed down through the generations by his wife, daughters, and friends.

We're just doing our part to pass on this tradition.