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'Tis The Season To Be Jolly
By Ken Hoffman 
(http://www.annien.com/Holidays/Christmas/ChristmasStories/TisSeason.html)



We've all had our share of what is known as "The Holiday Blues". At this time of year I know that I will over-indulge and gain a few pounds - pounds that will take more than a few weeks to take off. If I can. There are relatives to invite and gifts for which to rack our brains. The Holiday Spirit is sometimes elusive.


One person I feel sorry for is the Christmas tree entrepreneur. This guy has to guess how many trees he will need, pay for them up front, hope that the lot he rented is visible to civilization, and pray that his family will help sell the trees. The snow that the kids are praying for won't do him a bit of good. On top of this is the unspoken fact that come Christmas morning, any unsold trees will be worth nothing.


A few years ago, when we were still buying naturally grown Christmas trees for our home, the task fell on my wife, Marianne, to go out and find a nice tree. Previously, I had been the one who magically decided on the variety, shape, and height of that all important reminder of Christmas. Some phrases that apply to my wife while shopping are: 'She knows what she wants', "Decidedly particular', and 'No crooked tree for our house'.


The grumpy old man at the Christmas tree lot must have shaken out a dozen trees, turning them in measured circles while Madam shook her head, suggesting implacably, "How about that one over there?"


Finally, a perfect specimen nudged out of a fresh mountain of trees pleased the lady very much and the sour owner stamped off to cut the trunk six inches shorter.


Now the previous day, Marianne's brother had heard that Marianne would be out shopping for a tree, so he asked her to pick out a nice one for his family, since he had no time and had to work. So as soon as Mr. Grump left with his saw, Marianne started looking around for her brother's tree. Suddenly, the sour puss owner stood in the aisle with fire in his eyes. He blurted out, "Lady, it's too late to change your mind, I've already cut off your bottom !!"


Marianne quickly replied, "You don't understand, I'm looking for my brother."


With a scowl, he retorted, "Well, you won't find him behind that tree!"



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