The Year the Tree Fell Over

Christmas Tree 2014
My Christmas Tree – 2014

I spent a quiet evening last night setting up my Christmas tree. As I drank my hot cocoa and sifted through boxes of ornaments, I couldn’t help but think of a few memorable tree stories from my past. Here’s a couple that really stick out in my mind.

Twenty or so years ago, Jim bought a live tree (probably pre-wrapped) and it was so big on the bottom he had to trim it back. Unfortunately it was still slightly lopsided and wouldn’t stand up without tipping over. In order to get it straight, Jim wired it to the radiator in the living room.

A few days later I was out and my pager went off. I found a pay phone (remember those days?) and called home. My son John said “Mom, the tree fell over and it’s on the living room floor.” First thing I said was “Did you get hurt?” (Answer, No) Then I said “John, is it unplugged?” He said yes. I said with a smile, “Just leave it alone.” I’m sure we stood it up later but that tree sticks out in my mind as a real winner.

Almost ten years ago my asthma was so bad I decided to get an artificial tree to see if that would help. I love a real tree but I have to tell you- an artificial one is just too easy. I bought a pre-lit tree from KMart, a nice Martha Stewart one, and set it up. It was great.

Except that two years later those pre -lit lights were toast. Big splotches of them were burned out and changing the bulbs didn’t work. I was ticked. It was a tight year financially and I couldn’t afford a whole new artificial tree. So I sat, night after night, for about a week and pried those lights off (wrapped very tightly I tell you!) from around those tree limbs. I had huge conversations in my head about the whole racket that these pre- lit trees created. You know- get a tree, you only have it for a couple of years, you then need a new one, how convenient!….on and on!

In the end, it was worth it because I still use that tree. It’s fine and actually quite beautiful. You have to look close to see that it’s not real.

My Charlie Brown Tree
My Charlie Brown Tree

This year, I mentioned to Jim that I was thinking about putting a live tree somewhere. Either inside or outside of my mudroom and lo and behold, during the high winds last week a pine tree fell in the adjacent woods. Jim cut the top off and Viola! I have my live tree! I had some old light strands and I wrapped them around it. It’s a bit of a Charlie Brown tree (that’s probably why it fell) but it works and lights up my backyard very nicely. Thank you God, for this beautiful little tree.

When my grandson Gavin was little, maybe 5-7 years old, he would often play in the living room where the Christmas tree was. I would notice the ornaments were sometimes shifted around. He loved to do this and most of the time, I didn’t mind. This is a very good memory.

I’d love to hear your favorite Christmas tree story if you’d be willing to share. Comment on my Facebook post or right here, on this blog. I’d love to hear from you.




Join me on my graceful journey.

20 Replies to “The Year the Tree Fell Over”

  1. We had our nicest Christmas tree the year I thought we wouldn’t have one. We were so broke that year, that f it wasn’t for my step dad, Santa would ave been skipping our house. On Christmas Eve, we happened to be at K-Mart and we were looking at the trees that were left (live ones), because we figured that they would be marked down. There was one that was still wrapped up and the guy told us we could take it. For free. I was so happy to get that tree! My boys were 2 & 6 and I was so afraid they wouldn’t have a tree. But we ended up getting one in our price range, LOL! Not only that, but it was still pretty frozen when we took it home and put it up. On Christmas day, we were graced with the sight of the most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen! The branches fell just perfectly and even though we had decorated a half frozen tree, when it thawed all the way it was perfect! I have never had one like that since.
    We now have an artificial one because of the animals and 2 years ago we bought a pre-lit one…so far, no problems! It’s time to get that out of storage!

    1. Hi Cathy,
      I love your beautiful story of love and kindness. It was nice of the guy at Kmart to give you that tree and of course it was your most perfect one ever. <3
      Glad you are not having any problems with your artificial one!
      Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and many blessings to you and yours for the holiday.
      xo Joanne

  2. Beautiful, Joanne…precious memories, indeed! I like your real tree this year, and I like Charlie Brown, too…I always have a soft place in my heart for him. You really do have so much to be thankful for this year, and so do I. The Blessings are flowing in.

    Marianne xo

    1. I was a big fan of Charlie Brown when I was in my teens and I always had a soft spot for him too! I do have much to be thankful for and I am going to remember that going into this holiday season. Blessings to you Marianne!

  3. WeLl, since you asked… We always went to church on Christmas Eve and the festivities – eating drinking, and gifts – started after. The party usually lasyed past midnight, as we opened gifts one at a time and no one really wanted things to end. One year, I guess there was a little too much drinking. The tree got knocked over around midnight and it was still laying there on Christmas morning.

  4. Your Christmas trees look lovely. Not sure if there will be a Christmas tree here this year but the nativity scene is out because it didn’t get put away from last Christmas! I like it so much I decided to keep it out.

  5. Oh, Joanne, I love this post. I love all your posts, but this one REALLY makes the memories flood back. 1) My mother always said that I chose the saddest little “off kilter” tree to take home and make it happy with wonderful decorating (lots of home-made decorations, which really fit in with the theme…) Therefore, I must be the president of the Charlie Brown tree club, or at least a member in very good standing. 2) When our tree fell over, my 7th grade friend and I tied it to the drapery rod with yarn and a rope. Of course it pulled down the drapes, too, which really added to the Christmas joy. 3) I will never ever buy another pre-lit artificial tree …for the same reason you listed.

    1. Well I am laughing out loud to your response. It is nice to know the president of the Charlie Brown tree club. 🙂 And it is also nice to know that you tied up a tree once, so I know that we are all not looney over here.
      I do miss a live tree so I know one day, it will be back to the real thing. Thank you Marylin for stopping by. xo

  6. I love the tree on your porch! It is a beautiful little tree. Speaking of Charlie Brown, I try to find someone each year to give the Charlie Brown Christmas tree to as a Christmas gift. It makes an awsome decoration as well as a special gift. I enjoyed reading your post, Joanne!

  7. I adore your outdoor tree. Makes me feel all warm and happy just looking at it.
    I have two sisters.
    As teenagers, each year one of us would have a boy friend who would “graciously” offer to help my Dad get the tree in the stand and get it straight.
    I am still giggling……

    Thanks for bringing up such good memories.
    You have a knack for writing and at the same time, bathing the reader in Grace and Goodness!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Warm Hug from the left coast.

  8. What a delightful post! And I adore your tree, love the red sprigs and large angel. So country and cozy!! And the outside one is perfect too. It’s telling of your kind heart the year the tree fell over, and the first thing you asked.
    Ah the stories we have about our trees… I too had a M.Stewart one whose lights went poof! I felt it was a bit too big for our smaller home so I sold it for $10 at our garage sale with the very clear explanation that the top half of lights are burnt out and you’ll need to add your own new lights to the top half! It went to a lovely family and I was happy I’d always stored it very carefully, taped up well in the huge box. Now my (even older) white tree sits stop a desk (aka ‘small hutch’) in the dining/living room and I love it. Peace doves, angels, nativity ornaments, and a big silver star on top!
    Bright Christmas blessings to you and yours Joanne,
    xo Gina

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