The Family Tree
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  • Post published:13/05/2021
  • Post last modified:13/05/2021

My brother Garry married a wonderful woman. She’s easy to get along with and can mix a good drink. She also has a lot of patience.

I knew she was wonderful pretty early on. I think it was the first Christmas they were together. I called them just before. Char answered and when I asked what they were doing she told me in a voice without any noticeable tension that my brother was beating up the Christmas tree.

I was not surprised by this. My brother does weird stuff sometimes. He has always had a temper and Christmas trees have always been a bit of a thing with us.


Once, in desperation, my sister-in-law Sheri and I stole one off a closed lot. Then, our family argued over tree stands for a period of time. We all wanted the really ugly one that my father welded when we were children, the one that could hold up a giant redwood. My brother Garry flaunted a new stand he’d got at Costco the previous year.

He was also prone to a bit of bragging about having the best tree. I, on the other hand, generally had a tree that always prompted my other brother, David, to say that is the ugliest tree I have ever seen.

Back to their first Christmas together. When Char passed the phone to Garry, I could hear a lot of rustling. Definitely the sound of someone pulling himself together following the assault of an evergreen.

“What the hell?” I said to which there was a stream of language I cannot repeat. Apparently, all the needles had fallen off a couple of days before Christmas, kind of like rain. This had prompted the wrestling match that left Char and Gary treeless. My brother was worried about this. No tree for Christmas. Unthinkable.

I wasn’t thinking about trees.

“Char isn’t going to leave you because you’ve lost your mind and beaten the tree up, is she? She’s a really good hairdresser and we don’t have any in this family”

The dial tone was the only answer I got.


Photo Credit

“Charlie Brown Christmas” Illustration by Charles Schultz

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