Money Grows On Trees

Our Christmas tree-buying experience is always a big deal because the Nagasawa Christmas tree is “rooted” in the history of my married life. I’ve told the story before, but it explains my wife’s obsession with finding the perfect tree.

We got married Dec. 26, 1987. At our wedding reception, we did the Japanese tradition of the 1,001 folded cranes, but we put ours on a beautiful Christmas tree. So it is symbolic of one of the happiest days of our lives. The following year we couldn’t afford a nice tree, so what we got resembled the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but worse.

When we decided to have kids, we vowed to always have a nice tree. To do that, my wife and I don’t exchange Christmas or anniversary gifts – everything we do is for our kids, family, friends and charity. That being said, the tree has to be perfect.

So the other day we drove to a tree lot in my wife’s car and I told her to get whatever she wanted, but I was going to make myself scarce. I didn’t want to be around while she made the tree lot helper pull out a hundred trees. Surprisingly, she and our 16-year-old daughter found one rather quickly, so they called me on my phone while I was walking aimlessly around the block.

When I returned, the two of them wanted the tree that same day by having it delivered. I asked what it would cost, and I think they mistook me for Donald Trump. No way was I going to pay that. I told the tree guys to tie it on my wife’s car.

They tried to convince me it wasn’t a good idea because of the size of the tree, but I insisted. When we got home, I told my wife to go inside, that I would unload the tree myself. My daughter watched as I ended up scratching the paint on the car roof and snapped off the antennae from the rear windshield.

I knew I would hear about it since I refused to have the tree delivered. My plan was to blame the damage on when the guys loaded up our tree. When I explained the plan to my daughter, she implied she needed Christmas money, so I bribed her to keep her mouth shut. Not two minutes passed when my wife came running out complaining about the damage to her car.

I looked at my daughter and she said, “Mom offered me more money.”

I now know our daughter has a future in politics.