If last week at the Christmas tree farm is any indication of what we can expect for the rest of the month, we are in for a wild ride! It started out on a warm fuzzy note, then went in a totally different direction. Last year being our first year we kicked it off with a give-away. For every tree we sold we entered the name and phone # of the customer into a drawing for a free tree this year. Friday after Thanksgiving we drew the name from about 90 people, then I made the call to inform the winner. I felt oddly like Bob Barker. I dialed the number, a child answered, I asked for his mother or father, the mother took the call and the second I told her who I was she immediately knew why I was calling and began screaming (with much joyful enthusiasm) into the phone. I wasn't giving her a million dollars, just a free Christmas tree but she carried on for several minutes, unable to contain her excitement. I think I can safely say we made that family's day...maybe even more. It was great fun doing so, and then to see their faces the next day when they came to pick a tree just capped it off. The winners are a young family with two boys (about 4 and 6) and a girl (maybe 1 y/o). Something tells me this will be a Christmas they'll long remember. :) Sunday just before dark, the father came by to pick up the tree. He could barely contain his excitement and wore an ear to ear grin on his face the entire time. Have I mentioned we have a custom cut farm...meaning we don't cut the trees in advance, they remain in the ground until selected by a customer. I know there is a huge...okay...big debate between live versus artificial trees and I've had both; somewhere in my past is a photo of me circa 1966 standing next to an aluminum tree. And we thought we were cool then. Ha ha!!!
Tuesday night after work we got a call from a prospective customer who wanted to look for a tree. It was dark, but she was undeterred, so we met her outside. With her were two boys, about six or seven y/o; one with Harry Potter style glasses complete with a polite, mild mannered demeanor to go with it and the other was the total opposite. By the time they found a tree I concluded the opposite boy was a walking talking Damien. Let me tell you about this child. He hated every tree the woman picked. Not so bad really, coz there are some very questionable trees on the lot. Finally, she found one and asked both boys if they liked it. Harry Potter said yes with a nod, but Damien (seriously...you'll see what I mean) says no with animated gusto and then he picks up handfuls of snow and begins throwing snow at the tree. Okay, boys will be boys. Harry Potter stands quietly in front of me, the woman can't decide if she likes the tree, and a few seconds later I heard her tell Damien to 'Stop that!' So I turn and see Damien has a strangle hold on one of our Charlie Brown trees (if you've ever seen the tv special It's a Charlie Brown Christmas, you'll know what I mean), and is shaking it quite vigorously while screaming 'Kill the trees! Kill all the trees!' Unaffected Mom turns her attention back to the other tree. Damien doesn't stop so I ask him to stop too. 'Honey, please don't do that to our trees.' I'm being way too nice. Damien steps away from the tree, I turn my attention back to the mother. Next thing Harry Potter asks me if we own all these trees, which is interrupted by the sound of the woman saying, '(Insert Damien's first, middle and last name here), put down that chain saw!!!' What?!?! I turn in time to see the child wildly swinging Sam's chain saw (it's off) around right behind me, chanting his 'Kill the trees,' song. That does it!!! I take a step toward him, he puts the saw down, and I position myself over the top of the saw while he runs back over to the selected family tree and picks up his thow the snow at the tree act while repeating the words, 'I hate this tree,' over and over. Note to self: Do not, under any circumstances, let the chain saw out of your sight. It's dark, it's cold, my patience is running out and I can't help but notice the woman still isn't even affected by his behavior. Is this normal? She continues like nothing happened!!!! Does young Damien always help himself to other people's property, especially chain saws? About the time I'm wondering what other tricks Damien has up his sleeve the mother decides she wants the tree, and Sam cuts it for her, at which point Damien wants to know if the tree will hit anyone on the head when it falls. What a charming young boy. Is he her son, or a family member, maybe Harry's friend? Poor Harry, he seems totally desensitized to the behavior as well. Damien's animated antics continued the entire time (Iwon't share all my thoughts, just use your imagination), and the woman carried on completely oblivious in contrast to the wide-eye reactions and repeated exchange of looks between Sam and I. We couldn't get the tree and the family loaded fast enough for me. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown before they finally left. OMG!!!!!!!
Two nights later on Thursday Sam and I foiled a couple of late night Christmas tree thieves. There's nothing like running around a tree farm in your jammies chasing would be thieves under the cover of darkness to put you in the holiday spirit.
That was last week. We're on vacation next week and so far this week things have been 'normal'...but the week ain't over yet. We'll see.
On another note Sam got offered a job in Alabama; seems his former boss is in head hunting mode and looking to recruit some of his former employees. Will he take it? Not likely, he's less than four years away from retiring and moving across the country right now is not part of the plan.
The background on this entry is from Pat's Web Graphics.