Stephanie Pearce: The tumbleweed Christmas tree
Decorating the house for Christmas makes the season feel so special. The young mother knew this and even if she couldn’t afford much for decorations, she would make this Christmas special for her children. She and her husband made sure their children had a few nice presents on a very tight budget.
She dragged out her box of decorations, and the kids began to smile. She made some hot cocoa and put on some Christmas music. She put up garland but noticed it didn’t go very far. So, she popped popcorn and got some string out of the junk drawer. She explained to the kids that in the olden days, people would use what they had for decorations, and they began to thread the popcorn on the string, laughing and having fun.
The kids asked when they would get a tree. Yet, there just wasn’t money in the budget for a tree this year, but the young mother didn’t lose hope. She didn’t tell the kids they couldn’t afford one; she just said they were waiting for the right one.
Not long before Christmas, she was driving along and saw a large tumbleweed rolling down the sidewalk. She thought of her mother who had grown up in hard times and remembered when her grandparents used a tumbleweed as their tree. They had flogged it white and ornaments were hung. The young mother pulled her car over to chase the tumbleweed.
She came home with the tumbleweed in tow. When she walked through the door, her family asked what she was doing. She informed them it would become their Western Christmas tree. The family looked at her in the strangest of ways.
She had red bandana material and laid it on a table. The tumbleweed went on top. She took glitter and glue and applied it to some of the “branches.” She then grabbed more bandanna material and tied it onto the weed where she could. The kids began to see her vision for the weed and were excited to help her. She had a few ornaments to put here and there. The kids strung up some more popcorn. They even had some rope they put around it for garland and tied bandanna to it as well. They finished it off with a star on top.
The kids told their friends all about the Western Christmas tree. They thought it was the best Christmas tree ever. They had no idea that this tree came out of desperation. They saw how beautiful and unique this weed had become with a little love.
To this day, my family remembers our little tree fondly. It’s not about the money or the fanciest things you can buy. It’s about making memories. Make some great memories this Christmas season.