Saturday, 11 December 2010

A Fir Tree - Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus Week 31

Jenny Matlock

Welcome to week thirty-one of Saturday Centus. STOP! If you didn't read the end SC's from last week, please take a moment to do so. Just work backwards until you find out where you left off. I feel really bad that the people at the end don't get read. Thanks! Now on to regular SC biz...In case you've forgotten... This is a themed writing meme. You can use UP to 100 words to tell your story. The prompt does not count for your 100 words AND it must be left intact in the body of your story. No illustrations are permitted. Your story can be fact or fiction, just keep it PG, please! You have the entire week to link your work to the meme and you can link more than one story if you like. Please display link button or just a hyper-link back to Saturday Centus. Be careful to link your SC URL to the Linky and not just link to your main blog. I would suggest that since these are so short, if you can't think of a title just use your blog name as the title in the Linky. Try to visit each one because there are some amazing writers participating in this meme. Since the links are so short they are also a fun and quick read. Please e-mail me directly with ???'s or ask your question in a comment and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. This week the prompt is: "The bin of tangled up holiday lights..." Link anytime between now and next Saturday morning.

Here is my SC text, the prompt is highlighted in orange:

He decided to not cut one of his fir trees. She, on the other hand, wanted to make it a happy Christmas for the children; even if it meant buying one. She took the worn out stroller with her to the square where trees were sold. It was the morning of Christmas Eve. Most shops were closed.* The tree-sellers were gone, but left a sign with the unsold trees: 'Take what you like!' She chose the smallest, and wheeled it home in the stroller.
The bin of tangled up holiday lights was a result of the children's helpfulness. One more, but very minor problem to solve.

*In Sweden, you open your presents on Christmas Eve and go to church very early on Christmas Day.
Wordcount according to WordCalc: 100

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Ann of
Ann's Snap Edit & Scrap

To read more SC-posts, please go to this site or click on the image below:

Jenny Matlock


Ann said...

Ah nothing beats the aroma of a live Christmas tree, can even make that tangled string of Christmas lights seem not so bad :)

Kat said...

This was lovely Anna. It's odd to think of the shops being closed the morning of Christmas Eve, here they are very busy, although they generally close early. There is nothing better than a tree decorated by those little hands. Great job! Kat

gautami tripathy said...

Kids do know how to make festivals so special...


razzamadazzle said...

How wonderful!


Tgoette said...

The real tree/fake tree debate has raged for years in this country and though I love the smell of a real tree and get one every few years, I normally pull out the fake one and use it. At least with the fake you don't have to watch it slowly decay before your eyes. Nice job!

Sue said...

Nicely done, Anna! I like thinking of the children having fun helping, and the mother who considers that only a minor problem.


nimaruichi said...

Sweet. This is one time when tangled means lovely :)

Viki said...

Oh this was such a sweet and sentimental story. I loved it. Great job.

Anna said...

Dear Ann,
I love the smell of a real tree too. Which is part of the idea behind this centus, but not the main theme. Writing this piece of fiction and allowing others to read it, brings home the fact that we all see things differently depending upon our frame of reference.
I really needed a few more words to get my message across. I see that I have not succeeded in telling my story, because no one has seen it. I need to say just a few more words...
Dear Kat,
Thank you for your kind words, but if you read my comment to Ann of Ann's Snap, Edit & Scrap, you will see that I don't feel that I have told my story properly. There are more differences than just Christmas traditions in this story.
This story is unfortunately based on fact. The only fictional part is the prompt. My holiday lights are not tangled at all, but right now, almost everything else is.
The little hands that help decorate and make messes in the process are forgiven because they are innocent. Innocent compared with other characters in this story.
@gautami tripathy
Dear Guatami,
Thank you for your comment. Yes children do make it festive. In fact, the whole point of taking the time and trouble of taking home a Christmas Tree and decorating it is for the benefit of the children. It's their tree, in this story.
Dear Teresa,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind thoughts.
Dear Tom,
Your comment reveals a flaw in my centus. I have not told the story well enough for the reader to understand what is really happening here. I need more words or more time to weigh them better.

It is interesting that you bring up a debate about which is better, a real tree or an artificial Christmas tree.
Actually, I can appreciate both, and I have no trouble with seeing a real tree wither. I just take it down. And my 85-year-old mother has an artifical tree, that I think is well suited to her needs. But this is not what my story is all about.
So I will tell you the background to this story.

This centus is an attempt to discribe how our Christmas was a year ago. The key sentence that I neglected to write clearly enough is the very first one. It is about who the 'he' is. 'He' owns large areas of woodland and sells trees from time to time. He has, in other words, many, many Christmas trees to choose from on his own property. He could choose a fir tree that happens to be growing in a ditch by a road and take it home to the children, who are in a good age for Christmas, five and eight years old. But for different reasons, he decides to be lazy or selfish or just not bother. The real reason turns out to be that he no longer loves his wife. They have always had a Christmas tree, a real Christmas tree from his own forest. But he has had a change of heart and skips the tree-business all together. (Which is terrible for the children.) It is not a question of an artificial or a real tree. It is a question of not celebrating Christmas at all - when you have children at home who still believe in Santa Claus.

So his wife, goes out and, without knowing whether it will work, finds a free tree in the square. The kind-hearted sellers left their left-over trees for anyone who needs them.

This is what happend to me. I walked in the snow with a stroller and some straps and got lucky. I could bind this tree to the stroller (the children were at home) and walk it home.

My eight-year-old son helped me put it in a foot. And the three of us, the children and I, decorated it. But Santa Claus never came last year.
I'll take a break here.
Best wishes,

Jenny said...

Anna, what a lovely little gem of a story.

I am entranced with the imagery in this story.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

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