When I was young, my mother took me with her to buy a new Christmas tree. What happened to the last one; your guess is as good as mine. Maybe mice got in it, maybe spiders, maybe the lights were dead, or maybe it just wouldn’t reassemble properly anymore. Whatever the reason was, we needed a new one. My sister and father did not accompany us to Wal-Mart that day.
I wandered along beside the cart as we rolled into the Christmas section. There at the beginning of a shelf was a display tree. It was dark green with lights scattered through it. My little feet stalled in their path, until my mother dragged me along into the tree aisle. There she compared sizes, prices, and with lights already strung in or not, and I did my best not to be bored out of my young mind. Finally, my mother pulled a large box off of the shelf. It didn’t fit entirely in the cart, but enough of it did that it wasn’t impractical. Mom was fairly happy with it as it was on sale. The box had been opened and resealed.
“It was probably a display tree,” she commented to me as we meandered our way towards the checkout. She didn’t offer any explanation as to why it wasn’t anymore.
Days, maybe weeks later, my older sister and I sat before the tree with our Barbies in pre-Christmas joy. Well, at least until I wacked the back of my head on a tree branch. In pain, I hurried to my mother for comfort. She was at her computer as always.
“Do you remember when we got that tree?”
I nodded diligently.
“Well, it was on sale, and it used to be a display tree, but they had to take it down because it was eating children, so you need to be more careful around it, okay?”
I nodded again.
Not long after, she wrote of this very incident, concluding it with “I love kids. (They taste wonderful!)”.