The Tree Demon

Putting My Feet In The Dirt: December Prompt #5- Pumpernickle and Rye

Photo by Mateusz Dach on

My least favorite thing to do at Christmas was decorating the family Christmas tree.

Decorating the tree was my Dad’s gig and he was convinced that if I did as much as look at the tree a light would burn out, or it would tilt or that one of the ornaments that had been perfectly placed a second ago was now ‘all wrong’.

So I was allowed to hand him ornments, keep my mouth shut and for heaven’s sake whatever I did- don’t touch anything. It didn’t matter that I killed the tree every year and that I kept it from achieving perfection. I wanted to be there anyway.

I was the resident Christmas Tree Demon.

Maybe I started to get into my role as the reason the tree failed to reach the height of it’s Christmas Glory every single damn year or maybe I wanted to be part of the festivities desperately enough that I was willing to be somewhere I wasn’t wanted or needed.

I guess I assumed I was some sort of Christmas Oaf that couldn’t be trusted around the tree as it was coming together- unlike my cousin who broke ornaments  because she liked the popping noise they made and sang Shirley Temple songs and tap danced around the living room and the tree  until I was good and ready to stick her up the chimney and start a fire.

My Dad and anyone else that was there that day stopped what they were doing to watch her and they watched me too- you know, in case I tried to touch something I wasn’t supposed to touch.

One year my parents took me to their friends house and their four kids proudly lined up in front of their tree and their parents took a picture of them and told us the kids had done the tree themselves and wasn’t it great?

My parents were big on me minding my manners and for as much as they thought I couldn’t manage to decorate their tree,  they did expect me to know how to initiate and participate in conversations.

That’s right, my Dad wanted me to compliment a bunch of other kids for doing something I was convinced I was absolutley terrible at and had no hope of ever being able to do.

I looked up at the tree, it was lit up and it sparkled and it smelled wonderful because it was a freshly cut tree. The one thing that caught my eye were these lovely little glass acorns with fake snow spinkled at the top near the stem.

I would like to say what I said wasn’t said out of meaness, or maybe it was. Maybe The Christmas Tree Demon showed up uninvited because that’s what Christmas Tree Demons do.

I walked up to the tree and with the lights sparkling and twinkling in my eyes I said in childlike wonder, ” I’ll bet it was a really pretty tree before you chopped it down and killed it.”

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