This true story was a Christmas tradition Dad added to our family before I had a choice. My sister and I were sent to bed early on Christmas Eve. My parents longed to create a morning full of surprise and delight which included putting the tree up after we were in bed. When I was eleven years old, I began to wonder why we didn’t have our tree much sooner like all my friends. That Christmas Eve, Dad invited me to help him hunt down the perfect tree. We visited several tree lots by 10 o’clock. It turned out this task was not as easy as I thought. I was surprised the lots were either closed or were still asking full price for their trees. At that point, I remembered the many treasures I had found in the YMCA dumpster. Dad finally agreed to go check it out. We were excited to find the dumpster overflowing with fresh garland from a Christmas party. I began to imagine how fun it would be to make our tree that year. We used the fresh garland, a floor lamp and wire hangers to create the most perfect homemade Christmas tree.
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