A Chevy Chase Style Christmas Tree Story

Every year, around July, I remember it. I laugh to myself. Probably out loud, in front of other people, at a really inappropriate time. That sounds like something I would do. I want so badly to read it, have a good laugh. But I don’t. I wait. It is a self-imposed Christmas tradition. And it is my favorite. Soon, I forget about it, until December, Christmas time!

The first Christmas I ever spent away from home was when I was 17 in South Africa. It was really hard. My host family took me to their secluded beach cottage on the Wild Coast for two weeks. I was showered with presents, love and so much sunshine. Okay, I lied, it wasn’t hard at all! It was amazing. Sorry, fam back home, you know how much I still love and miss you 😉

That December while I was getting ready for my Christmas at the beach, my brother, Clif, sent me an email. The email I look forward to re-reading every December since I received it. It still makes me cry with laughter.

hey keatz! how ya doin!?

> i can not WAIT! to cu! is it getting hott down there? (temperature and or
> boys/girls for me) but keatz, i had the funniest day ever today! ok so first
> me and dad went to church… then we came home and decided we should get a
> christmas tree… so we loaded up the jeep and the trailer and headed out to
> buffalo hills tree farm… not so funny so far, right? unless ur picturing
> last year when we cut down the huge tree and i had to drag it through the
> snow and we had to yank it through the door. but back to the story.. so we
> get there get a map make fun of santa as we drive through.. start driving
> around and realizing there is hardly any good trees… finally after about
> an hour of looking and nothing we decided to leave.. so we are leaving and
> we stop at the exit and ask the lady if she knows where any other tree farms
> are… she said she wasnt sure bu there might be one in maple lake… so we
> leave and head towards maple lake… after about 25 minutes of driving we
> stop at a cafe (picture grampa bruce saying it ‘cah-fay’) and dad went in
> and asked them and they said no none here but there is a tree farm in
> clearwater… so we drive along a long road towards clearwater and are
> keeping a lookout for it…. we drive along and dont see it after about a
> half hour so we stopped at a gas station and dad went in a gas station and
> asked and the guy said oh yeah it’s right back that way a little bit you
> will see the sign right away… so we turn around take a left and are
> expecting to see a sign for it soon and after about ten minutes we dont see
> anything and suddenly we go flying by a “Nelsons Tree Farm” which was told
> to us was called “Petersons Tree Farm” any way we pull in a drive way to
> turn around and this is the boiling point for dad… we have the trailer on
> and are trying to turn around and we have to go back and forth and back and
> forth… dad is getting FrUstRatEd! he is like ramming on the gas making
> big roots and spinning out in the gravel… so we finally get turned around
> and turn into the driveway that has the sign.. so we are heading down this
> gravel road and waiting to see the nelsons tree farm and we never doo… and
> all this time the little orange gas light is on in the jeep while dad is
> accelerating like a mad man… we end up on a road heading towards
> monticello and i am not helping dads temper by uncontrollably laughing and
> trying to think of things other than the circumstances to explain the
> laughing. dad finally says “oh i know where we are we are blah blah” five
> minutes later shoot shoot “this isnt the road i wanted to be on..” i am
> laughing and saying if the tree farm comes up now are you gonna stop? “no,
> Its like God doesnt want us to get the tree” dad says… so finally we go
> through monticello and it has been probly an hour 45minutes since we went to
> get a tree… haha try to imagine dad now… i finally convince him to go
> back to buffalo hills so we do.. we get back and the lady laughs at us…
> again as we drive through we make fun of santa.. we go look for like ten
> minutes and decide on one… we get the saw and i start cutting and dad is
> in a hyper mood for some reason he is throwing grass in my face and such…
> then we switch and he starts cutting and i throw some grass in his face…
> we get the tree all tied down and go home… we get it in the stand set up
> and decide to start decorating it… we take out the lights and put one
> strand up and the rest wont work… dad starts working on trying to get the
> lights to work… he gets a couple strands to work.. and the funniest thing
> was he would get a strand to work and then when he would plug them into the
> tree they would quit. “what in the sam hill!” i convice dad to go uptown to
> family dollar and get some more lights and some red and gold balls. so he
> gets back with some lights and ornaments… we get the lights out and put
> one strand up and we go to put another and we realize the lights dad got
> dont have the plug in at the end to plug in the next strand… dad goes ” i
> am ready to swear to so hard right now!” haha so we finally got the tree up
> and it looks pretty good. haha i hope that gives you a laugh sorry its so
> long but it was really funny.

>> school has been really busy latley but i am getting good grades and working
> hard so its all good. i got most of my christmas shopping done already.
> especially yours.. i got u some sweet stuff. well write back and give a lil
> update whenever… i think ur at camp right now… but have fun ttyl, love

> ya lots-clif

>> p.s.- i was laughing the whole time i wrote this email…

Clifton Dane

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