On the tree lot, we have cuttings from the bottoms of sold trees. We make some of the branches into wreaths. The rest we pile up and away from the sale’s tent. Some people come by and ask for our debris to make their own wreaths, garland, and crafts; some of them never purchased a tree from us.
A couple days ago, an elderly man pulled up near our pile. He barely tumbled out of his car using a cane. All hunched over, he wobbled to the pine branches. I observed his actions noticing he wanted some of our limbs. Being busy with a customer, pointing towards our junk pile, I motioned and summoned my spouse to that area. The physically slow man had one limb in hand and his cane in the other by time my hubby arrived. Realizing the goal, my husband asked how much the man wanted and helped him load his trunk faster as well as with our fresher cuts. The ‘depression era’ guy reached in his pocket handing his helper three quarters.
That same day, my son-in-law tried to sell a very old woman a $15 table top tree. The lady bargained with him for twenty or so minutes budging $1 per offer. Stalemated at $13 versus $10, she left promising to be back if other lots in the area rejected her bidding style. Exhausted from being kind, the young man told us his tale.
“You should have just given her the tree for her amount,” His wife declared.
“Out of goodwill!” I added.
“No one leaves without a tree!” My hubby added.
Hours later, as promised, the elderly soul returned. “What will it take to make you happy and get a tree in your house?” The young man asked that soul.
“I have $10 to spend!”
“Sold!” He ended the banter faster.
The lady stood asking the teenager, who worked sawing fresh trunk cuts and pruning her tree’s bottom, question after question. She stood for a good time making her $10 change and conversation with her cashier, my daughter. Returning to my son-in-law, she asked about next year and her tree possibilities for that occasion.
My husband and I took our dinner break while the old woman was there the second time. Our relative filled us in on the outcome, “She wanted to know the name of the lot. That old lady reminded me that she came back as promised. She seemed happy with her tree selection, FINALLY!” He felt a bit exasperated by that ordeal or sale.
As the three souls involved with that elderly soul retold their adventures with her during that same conversation, my explanation and exclamation occurred, “Awe! She’s lonesome. That old lady came for conversation and interaction- not just a tree!”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” My daughter declared. “She’s just a lonely soul looking for someone to talk to…”
A couple days later, in the pouring rain during a windy spell, a group of four people drove from two towns away to visit our lot. They wanted a small tree due to their budget. We had a sale going on with trees from our showroom drastically reduced to make way for more of them from our back piles. The group went from a six foot to a nine foot with a big enough reduction in price that they could, also, afford a new tree stand. As these customers checked out, one of the girls asked about the trimmings from her tree and who owned them.
“You can have as much as you like. In fact, if I give you a big garbage bag, will you fill it taking a bunch of our fresh, tree trash away?”
They were excited! As they filled the bag to the brim, they talked about crafting and making money off our clippings. “I hope you earn the cost of that tree back with your crafts. Merry Christmas!” My voice chimed in with a smile as they left.
I know the tree lot down the street is nearly sold out. We aren’t. However, at least, we haven’t sold out to commercialism and greed- either. My husband has three quarters in his pocket, a lady has a table top tree in her home, and I have this story to prove it! Remember this holiday is about giving more than it is about receiving.
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