It was hectic and chaotic in the forester’s store, as it is every year. My friends, the spruce and blue spruce, were lined up against each other, waiting to be sold. For a fir tree, there is nothing worse than ending up rootless in the cold. I was planted in a pot a year ago, and now I stand proudly in Mr. and Mrs. Hinrichs’ garden. Why didn’t they throw me away after Christmas? Well, let’s say I was lucky.
It all started with a very bad cold. Oh yes, fir trees can also catch a cold. It was very cold again, and they were cut down again.
Then, a week before Christmas, they came—the families. All the trees were vying for attention. “Pick me! No, me!” they shouted. But I had a bad feeling. My cold was getting worse and worse, and every day, I hoped that I would not be cut down.
Fortunately, I was not beautiful enough in the eyes of most families. My left side has some excess weight. “Soon, it will all be over,” I thought. But then, Mr. Hinrichs came with his car and the big loading area. “I want that one,” he said, pointing his finger at me. The forester was surprised and said, “Are you sure about that? He’s a little overweight!” I wanted to protest, “Yes, I’m overweight, and I have a cold. Please don’t pick me. I don’t feel well. Achoo!”
Despite my silent pleas, Mr. Hinrichs insisted, and I found myself tossed in the back of his car, enduring a long and bumpy ride. By the time we reached the Hinrichs’ house, I was not only cold but also carsick.
At some point, the drive came to an end, and Mr. Hinrichs threw me on his shoulders and carried me into his house. He put me in a corner of the living room and freed me from the net. “You’re all right,” he said, pushing my twigs down. Then he fetched a small stand and set me up. “We’ll decorate you later,” he said, smiling at me contentedly.
Mr. Hinrichs closed the door behind him, and I was so tired from excitement that I immediately fell asleep. A bright light woke me up again a few hours later. Mr. Hinrich was there again. This time, with a wooden box and a young woman at his side. “Oh, he’s a pretty one,” she said. If I could change my color, I would have blushed.
She gave Mr. Hinrichs a kiss on the cheek. “I would have bought that one, too,” she said, and I wanted to blush again. She suggested to Mr. Hinrichs that if I survived, they could plant me in a pot after Christmas. “I hope I don’t die,” I silently echoed her sentiments.
Mr. Hinrichs opened the box, pulled out a shimmering red ball, and hung it on my branch. “What is he doing?” I wondered. Now, the woman had also started to decorate me with baubles, wooden figures, and golden chains. Finally, I got a huge star on my head.
“Achoo!” And that’s when it happened. I sneezed. My branches shook so much that all the baubles, wooden figures, and chains had to hold onto me. “Oh no, what was that?” the woman asked. “Hopefully, not an animal in the pot,” Mr. Hinrichs said, looking into my pot. “Don’t sneeze again, or they’ll throw me out,” I thought anxiously.
“Everything’s OK. There’s no animal here,” he said. “Come on, let’s eat,” the woman said. Once they left the room, I indulged in a sneezing fit. Everything jingled on my twig. Just at that moment, the woman came back and knelt down in front of me. “I wish he would finally propose to me,” she whispered. “Achoo!” That’s when it happened again. The glass balls jingled so loudly that the woman jumped back, startled. She stared at me, pleading, “Please, let it be a sign.”
The next day was Christmas Eve. Mr. Hinrichs and the woman dressed themselves up, and I was already feeling better.
“Sit down!” Mr. Hinrichs put a small package in the woman’s hand. “Will you marry me?” he asked her, taking her hand. “Of course! Yes!” the woman shouted with joy. At that moment, my nose itched again, but this time, they both laughed. “Whatever this tree is trying to say, it brought us good luck,” the woman said with a big smile.
They spent the rest of the evening singing, eating, and playing. As the last candle flickered out, the woman sat before me and whispered, “You may be a little creepy to me, but I think you helped make this the best Christmas present for me. Thank you so much!”