It all started when I went to our usual tree farm, beside our house, with the mission of finding materials for the tabletop tree. The last few Christmases, I've simply obtained scraps of green from the workers (who give it to me for free, weirdly enough) then stuffed it into the metal, tree-shaped decorative thing that my friend Kim made for us years ago.
But this year, when I ran by the tree farm at 8:30 pm, i noticed something unusual: no workers were there to give me my green. The place was deserted and dead silent. I yelled "hello" and wandered around the tent, searching for signs of (human) life. The trees all sat there alone, emitting their heady holiday fragrance. I even knocked on the door of the camper, which I figured might be their home-away-from-home while running the tree farm. No answer.
Then, I saw the most perfect little tree ever - it was even in its own stand. It was exactly the right height and plumpness for our living room and it was nestled in a corner, flanked by its towering cousins. I knew right away it was the tree for me.
So I took it. That's right; I just picked that sucker up, shoved it into the backseat of my Saturn and left the tree farm. Then, I called Brian and confessed I'd just stolen a tree - but that I of course had the intentions to go back and pay for it the next day, once the tree farm opened.
"Am I a bad person?" I asked.
"No, of course not," he replied. "You're paying for it tomorrow."
Which I did. The next day, I rolled up into the tree farm tent and approached the register, armed with my wallet.
"Hi. I took that small tree that was sitting over there in the corner," - I gestured with my hands - "but I still need to pay for it because no one was here when I took it last night."
I expected the guy to question me - or, worse, to call the police - but instead he just rang me up. Maybe it's normal for people to steal trees temporarily and pay for them later?
I went home and shared the story with my friends, who were all rightfully amused. The tree is aglow with lights and ornaments, and I can't look at it without remembering my silly adventure.
A merry holiday to all of you, and remember, it pays to be honest.
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