A boy and his father find that holiday cheer can come in any form.
| It was a snowy Christmas day. Children threw snowballs at one another, trying to hit there opponent's face. Cars drove by illuminating snowflakes with their headlights as they ran over the three foot high snow making a popping crunch. Snowflakes fluttered down like fairy dust and settled on the cars, streets, and trees creating a beautiful winter wonderland. Six-teen year old Alex, admired the trees that were like peaceful angels watching over everything. He was supposed to be shoveling snow off the drive way, but he was too entranced with all the joy and commotion around him. Then he saw a red Ford pickup truck with a tree in the truck bed that was all covered in snow. It was his dad, Daniel. Alex quickly started shoveling. His dad got out of the vehicle in his grey snow boots and snow trench coat. He was tall man with short hair, blue eye that shone with glee. He made large steps as he trudged through the snow toward Alex. Alex pretended to be lost in work and didn't look at his father at first. "Oh, hey dad how are you?" he said with a fake gasp.
"Um, you've done barely anything." He said folding his arms as he tilted his head forward, looking Alex directly in the eye. "You can drop the act."
"Oh, I..."Alex turned his eyes away from his dad and turned them off to the side.
"Don't worry about it. You can do it some other time. After all it is.....Ah...Christmas! I wouldn't trade this day for a million dollars!," he said as he smiled, and took a deep breath inhaling the brisk, invigorating scent of cold moister. He paused as he turned his head in every direction admiring the Christmas spirit that he saw reflected in everything that surrounded him. "Okay Alex, help me with the tree,"Daniel said rubbing his hands together. He jumped onto the back of the truck and slowly hoisted it off with Alex's help. "Let's put it in the garage so we can get all the snow off of it. Son can you open it? I'll hold the tree."
Alex reached through the passenger side and pressed the remote garage opener. Snow fell from his arm onto the seat as he pulled it back. "Woops," he said as he looked wide eyed at his father.
"Eh, don't worry. We'll clean it later." Daniel's voice was cordial and very happy. They held the tree off the ground so it wouldn't drag through the snow and brought it into the garage. Daniel put the tree into a stand as Alex held it steady. Then both of them heard something while they stood on opposite sides of the tree.
"Thank you,"said a high toned, crackling voice" "No problem," both Alex and Daniel said in unison. Looking around the tree they locked eyes confused at the strange voice. "Um, son are you getting sick? You didn't sound so good," said Daniel.
Alex was puzzled as he looked around the garage, at the tree and then at his father, "You're there one who said something.
"No son I clearly heard you say thank you. Are you just pulling my chain?" Daniel had same look he had when Alex was caught not shoveling."
"Dad, this joke is not funny,"Alex spoke shaking his head with his eyes flickering in confusion and anxiousness.
"Are you humans always so dumb?"
"Dad, did you hear something?"
"We'll um...I think the cold must be getting to us"
"Hello!? How long do I have to talk here." Alex and Daniel gasped in shock as they both jumped back from the talking tree.
Both were breathed heavily and shook their heads confounded. Alex picked up a bat leaning against the garage wall. He held it up ready gripping it tightly.
"Now son, I'm sure there'e a logical explanation for whatever is happening."
"Would you two stop freaking out already? Please put the bat down! Yes it is a tree that is talking, but I'm a friendly tree. So if you would not mind, I'd prefer not being bashed into splinters."
"Dad it must be possessed!"
"Hold on Alex. This can't possibly hurt us." He said breathing normally as he examined the peculiar tree with his hand on his chin. "Put the bat down."
"If you say so,"Alex sighed with slight trembling in his voice.
"Can you hear me?" Daniel said to the tree, pacing around it.
"Loud and clear buddy." Daniel smiled and looked at Alex.
"How is it that you can talk?"said Daniel
"Don't you believe in Christmas miracles? The Christmas spirit of all the world has brought me to you,"
Alex still kept his distance as his eyes darted from his father then the tree.
Daniel's eyes lit up with the joy, the sacred joy he held for Christmas from childhood. "Wow! A living Christmas tree!" Daniel laughed with his face beaming. "Isn't this wonderful Alex?"
Alex breathed through his mouth. He still wouldn't come near the cursed object. "Dad, Are you sure about this?"
"Son, its Okay. Talk to it."
"Hey there Alex! How are you?"
He started to relax with the tree's cordial response. "Do you have a name?"Alex said.
"Nope."said the tree in a simple flat tone. "Now that all of us are cool with one another, I'd like to sing you a carol if you'd wish."
"Sure!" Daniel said without hesitation as he stood like a child waiting for a birthday present.
"Here goes. eh hem..Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way, Oh what fun it is to ride in a on horse open sleigh! The end. Well I wish you both a Merry Christmas, I'll be back next year! Bye!"
"But wait! Is that it?" sudden tone of sadness and surprise came out of Daniel's mouth and before he could say any more the funny little tree was silent.
"Hmm. I Guess he had other places to go," said Alex.