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Our First Christmas Tree

Hal Swift
Sparks, Nev.

When I got home from the war in Korea,

my girl Carol

became my wife.

I was discharged honorably

out of the Navy,

and returned to civilian life.

We moved to a town in California,

and we rented ourselves a room.

I got me a janitor’s job at a school,

moppin’ floors

and pushin’ a broom.

We had some concern

for what lay ahead,

because we were expectin’ a baby.

But we were as happy

as we could be,

no “ifs,” “ands,” “buts,” or “maybe.”

Christmas was comin’,

and we both decided

we couldn’t afford a tree.

Like a lot of my buddies

I didn’t make much,

so money was scarce, don’t y’see?

But I tell you this, come Christmas Eve,

We wanted a tree real bad.

So I took a dollar and went to a nursery

to see what bargains they had.

It was Twelve-Fifteen

when I got to the place.

There’s no trees, and it’s closin’ time.

But the man looked ’til

he found a foot-long branch,

that he let me have for a dime.

I was almost ashamed

to bring the thing home,

but Carol said she thought it was cute.

And she set it on top

of our chest of drawers

in a little pink porcelain boot.

Using felt, she made

little stars and bells,

and hung them on for a start.

But lookin’ at that little stub of a tree,

it just about broke my heart.

Carol said it ought

to have Christmas lights,

but candles might kindle a fire.

I discovered five flashlight bulbs

in a drawer,

and a coil of radio wire.

So I took those bulbs

and that radio wire,

and hooked ’em to one “C” cell.

I strung ’em on the tree

with one at the top,

and, I tell you, it looked real swell.

The smell of that little tree

filled the room,

till you’d thought it was 8 feet tall.

It’s one of those times

you swear you’ll remember,

and you don’t regret it at all.

We celebrated Christmas

in that one tiny room,

with our first little Christmas tree.

And it’s just amazing,

the joy it still brings

to the both of us … Carol and me.


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