“Mrs. Hohmann”, the school administrator called, “Is there anything we can do for you this Christmas? There isn’t any need to be embarrassed. We would love to help.” After she declined the offer she hung up the phone, stunned over the turn of the events.
“What made them think that she needed any help” She shook the head and chucked it up to probably some error in the school data system.
On her way out she noticed the big tree limb sitting in an old vase. Her nine year old son put a lot of work in this one. She smiled thinking about him with pride. Just yesterday he was so busy working in the yard by trying to find the right branch. Then he used the big saw and cut it down just right. His voice quivered full of excitement and his eyes lit up knowing that he was responsible for bringing Christmas in the house. He rumbled through the box full of ornaments in awe of those shiny balls and toy like things. It was a big project and he stuck with it with determination. Sure, they weren’t all evenly distributed but allowing him to do so was one of the best things she could do. He even wrapped the light chain around that branch and didn’t leave anything out. Once they plucked it in, the little corner in the house became the center of the anticipated Christmas Season.
His excitement for the upcoming Christmas Season gave her a sense of peace. She hasn’t seen her parents in a while and this year she would be going to see them and her sisters. She couldn’t wait to show them the pictures of that Christmas tree and knew she would remember this forever.
She sighed. There was a lot more to do before they could fly to Missouri. So she better started getting things around. Soon the incident was forgotten.
At dinner Brian told her how the other children in school were thrilled when he told them about his Christmas tree. They all wanted to see it. He exclaimed that this looked just like the cartoon he saw in the paper. The branch was bending over from the heaviness of the ornament but it was still the prettiest tree they have seen.
After dinner Brian’s face beamed again as they cuddled next to the “Christmas Tree” and read a story. Then Brian went to Bed.
Her husband wondered also about the reason the school has called. It was the weirdest thing they thought.
As soon as she dropped Brian of at the school she called them back. The administrator said that they could help families who can’t afford a Christmas tree. It clicked. Brian’s adventure about “creating” and decorating his first Christmas tree didn’t fall on deaf ears but on the wrong side of their heart. While she was boosting her son’s self confidence by allowing him to search for, cut and decorate his own tree, the school perceived that they were to poor to get one. Sometimes good motivations can be a terrible thing especially since it was so embarrassing to her that someone thought she needed help.
Calmly she explained to the administrator that they were going to go out of town for two weeks and really don’t want to come home to a dead Christmas tree but allowed their son to bring Christmas in their home.
After wishing a “Merry Christmas” the conversation ended. Soon they were on the flight to Kansas City. A beautiful tree awaited them there with lots of presents under the tree. Still Brian loved the old branch better since it was his tree.