Someone Stole our Christmas Tree

Someone stole our Christmas Tree Messy MoneyEarlier this month, in the Pursuit of Frugal, I confessed that I am not a huge fan of Christmas.  I know that Christmas is a religious holiday for many and considered special day for that reason alone.  I don’t want to offend anyone but my experience of Christmas has been secular and so I see it from that viewpoint.  I find the season very stressful and less than joyful!  When I mention to people that it is not my favorite time of year they look at me like I have two heads.  How can anyone not love Christmas?  It is such a magical time of year.

My First Christmas

Maybe it all started with my first Christmas.  My Mom wanted it to be extra special.  My parents went out on Christmas Eve to buy the biggest, fluffiest, most spectacular Christmas tree they could find. They found the perfect tree, brought it home and hid it at the side the house.  They wanted to wait until I went to bed to set up the tree and arrange the mountain of gifts.  Later that evening, my Dad went out to fetch the tree and it was GONE!  Someone had taken it and left their half-dead, scraggly, sorry excuse for a Christmas tree.  My Mom was devastated.

Now, I don’t remember that first Christmas but the family legend lives on.  Who steals a Christmas tree? Maybe this guy…

 

The Best Christmas Ever

For me Christmas is stressful, gluttonous and wasteful.  You just need to check our curbside the day after Christmas for confirmation.

Our gift exchanges have turned into a “gift card exchange”.  What’s the point? Can’t we just have a gift free Christmas instead?

My Grandmother used to tell me about her favorite Christmas.  It happened before I was born and it was during a year when everyone had been on strike or out of work for many months.  Everyone was broke!  She told me that Christmas dinner consisted of a ham, scalloped potatoes and baked beans and in her opinion the most delicious Christmas dinner ever.  Gifts were few and far between.  A scarf or a package of cigarettes (it was the olden days) or a kiss.  They played cards and had some great laughs.  “The best Christmas ever!” she used to tell me.  What happened to those days?

The Christmases that have been most memorable for are the one’s where something (or everything) has gone wrong.  The turkey that falls out of the roasting pan and skids across the kitchen floor, Grandma dropping her false teeth into the toilet, the burnt carrots, the tippy Christmas tree and tipsy relatives, the gifts Santa left in the trunk of the car.  Those moments and the laughter are the ones I will remember.  I don’t remember many of the gifts I have received, the bows or the wrapping paper.  I don’t remember the Christmas lights or the perfect garland.  I don’t remember the stolen Christmas tree, but I wish I did.  I do remember the laughs, the card games and the odd food fight though.

My Own Special Holiday

To cope with all the holiday craziness, I have established my very own holiday.  I celebrate Winter Solstice (December 21 this year) – the longest night of the year.  Every day after December 21st, we gain a few more minutes of daylight.  It marks the beginning of the end of the darkness.

I know that if I can make it to that day, I know I can survive the winter.  It is a new beginning and I like to light the (gas) fireplace, pretend it is a wood burning one, have a cup of tea and contemplate the year gone by and the new one that is beginning.

It is peaceful and hopeful and rejuvenating.

I am not sure how, but the kids have caught on to my holiday and will remind me that it is coming up.  This year I think they might sit with me and talk  and tell me what the longest night of the year means to them.

Wishing everyone a peaceful, sane and simple holiday season.

P.S.  The Christmas light show competition in our area is intense. Some people hire companies to wire up their homes – to the tune of $700+ a year.  Not kidding.

31 Comments


    1. lol I think Christmas in the Bahamas would be great!! We were going to do it last year but had to abandon the idea due to a destination wedding that was planned for the spring. Hope that one year we get to try a tropical Christmas. It seems to becoming more popular.

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  1. Oh my goodness, who steals a Christmas tree, seriously?!

    One Christmas when I was a child, we went to my grandparents for Christmas Eve and came home around midnight. To the police in our driveway. Apparently the Christmas tree fell over and it was detected by the motion sensor for the security alarm. Since then we tie the tree to the curtain rod 🙂

    Right now I feel like it’s so silly – my fiance’s aunt called yesterday and said “we’re just going to do gift cards – where do you like to shop?” And I said the same thing… like why are we both spending $50 to basically mail each other money? I wanted to say something, but it’s D’s family, so he needs to broach that subject.
    Alicia recently posted…Tales from a Reformed CouponerMy Profile

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    1. LOL – I should start collecting Christmas tree stories for a book. I bet there are millions of them. I think Christmas Vacation movie captured a lot of great ones. Love that you actually have an honest to goodness gift card exchange. That is hilarious!

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    1. I hope i have forgiven the tree thieves. Hope you have a peaceful Christmas.

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  2. Stolen Christmas tree? Now that’s the first time I’ve heard of something like that. And to leave a lousy tree as a replacement…..insane. How could those people have enjoyed celebrating with a stolen tree knowing they ruined someone else’s holiday? Well, it sounds like that was a long time ago…..but a good story!

    You know, the holiday season can be enjoyed however each of us wants to do so. While I enjoy Christmas, I think it’s novel that you celebrate the 21st. Good point that days have more light after that point! Here in Chicago, I wish that also meant warmer weather (but it doesn’t!).
    Squirrelers recently posted…Save Big on Entertainment by Considering the Next Best AlternativesMy Profile

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    1. Countdown to solstice is on! Less than a month away now. I am going to try and be more positive this year and less grinchy.

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    1. It is kinda crazy. I can’t help but wonder who those people were and how they enjoyed the tree.

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  3. This is why after coming to the USA, I love ThanksGiving. All the food and family with none of the pressure of gifts.

    This year as the kids have gotten older the gifts have become less, and time spent with them making a memory has become more. Cooking lessons with dad, snow board lesson with mum, this year there is a indoor skydiving place so I think the kids and dad will be doing that while I video. Making memories has become more important to us… Good luck with the holidays this year!
    BritishMumUSA recently posted…FlamingoedMy Profile

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    1. Sounds like fun! Memories last a lot longer than most things do. Hope you have a great holiday too.

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  4. Wow, someone stole your Xmas tree when you were little?!?! That’s just terrible. No wonder you don’t like Xmas.
    I completely agree with the over commercialization of Christmas. Chris Rock did an awesome bit on this recently in his opening while hosting SNL (youtube it!) I do recall being younger and getting amped up about presents, but as I’ve gotten older I am certainly more exciting for the intangibles. Especially now that I’m fortunate enough to buy something myself if I need it. My girlfriend and I put spending caps on our gifts this year, which is fun because it forces you to be creative to make the gift special…I’m thinking of going with a cozy blanket with an epic pic of her cat and I on it!

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    1. I had a chance to watch the Chris Rock monologue – pretty funny! I am trying to approach Christmas with a more positive mindset this year though. Thanks for coming by.

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  5. I really like your solstice idea. I might have to steal it!

    I can’t believe someone stole your tree. People can be so strange sometimes.

    Another thing I dislike about gifts is they take up so much time.
    We use to have to open our gifts one by one so pictures could be take. That really drags on the morning. People /kids get antsy and by the end of it o can tell you I wish for it to just be over.
    The Roamer recently posted…This Year Lets Focus on Thanksgiving not Gift GivingMy Profile

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    1. Solstice is a nice milestone for the year. We do gifts one by one too – and takes much of the morning and then there is the big clean up after and then everyone just wants to take a nap LOL. Appreciate you coming by and commenting. Wishing you a peaceful Christmas.

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  6. To me, it sounds like you have had some good Christmas memories mixed in with the stressed ones. Grandma dropping her false teeth into the toilet and other things that go wrong create wonderful memories as long as everyone can laugh at them. You’re right – we don’t remember the gifts; we remember the times spent with friends and family. If you can shed those imposed expectations that have everything to do with consumerism, and defy your neighbours with simplicity and frugality, you’ll shed the stress factor and be able to set a new trend for the holiday season. Here’s hoping you have a great one! (And I think it’s terrible that someone stole that Christmas tree!)

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    1. Who steals a Christmas tree (besides the Grinch)??? It boggles my mind. Almost every one of our Christmases is like a “Christmas Vacation” movie.

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  7. I’m all for a peaceful and simple Christmas! We are great lovers of Christmas, but we really don’t spend that much money or go crazy with foods or anything (we might be a littttttle overboard on the inside decor, but I do re-use the same stuff every year).

    I like your winter solstice celebration/reflection–it sounds very meaningful and centering.
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…The Ultimate Bike Commuter’s Guide to Winter CyclingMy Profile

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    1. Thanks Mrs. Frugalwoods. Wishing you a peaceful and simple Christmas this year! Looking forward to some festive Frugal Hounds snapshots.

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  8. For a few years now, DH and I tend to travel during the Christmas period. We prefer to go somewhere together or at times we’ll visit with family but we do not exchange any gifts. My idea of a good Christmas is great food and good company – that’s it!

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    1. I like your definition of a good Christmas. I’m onboard!

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    1. Provided you like your family — just kidding — it is a special time of year.

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  9. There’s not much I can say to this! You read my post on Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas for what it represents. I love celebrating it as Jesus’ birthday. But that has nothing to do with consumerism and exchanging gift cards, as you said. It’s so silly. Everybody just keep your cash and buy yourselves what you want. Just be sure to spoil the crap out of the kids! That’s what Christmas magic is all about. Great post, May! 😀

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  10. I enjoy Christmas, but do agree it can be a stressful time. We try and enjoy the extra time with family and friends. So is it Happy Winter Solstice or Merry Winter Solstice? Either way I think it’s great you have found something special within a crazy time of year.
    Brian @ Debt Discipline recently posted…StuffMy Profile

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    1. LOL – I haven’t figured out the correct solstice greetings yet but thanks. I am looking forward to it.
      Appreciate you coming by and good luck with your “stuff” – we have lots of stuff too! (too much.)

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    1. The days getting shorter can be depressing. I look forward to those few extra minutes of daylight. Cheers!

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