Marco's First Christmas Tree
by Nick Brady
© Nick Brady, 2016. All rights reserved
It was less than a week before Christmas. On Sunday morning we got up, dressed for church and attended the late service. Wayne and David didn't show. We guessed that their party we had attended the previous night had run late.
As we were walking out of church, Marco said, "They had a nice Christmas tree."
"David and Wayne. They had a nice Christmas tree."
"Oh. Yes, it was pretty."
"We never had a Christmas tree."
"Who didn't? You mean you and your mother? Why not?"
"I don't know. We just never did."
"You think we should get a tree?" I asked.
"It would be nice, Marty. I mean, if you'd like." He looked hopeful.
"Sure. Where would you want to put it?
"In front of the window so people could see it from outside."
You want to string lights up too?"
"No, that's OK. But a wreath might be pretty, don't you think?"
"I think that would be very nice. Do you want to go find a tree?"
"Yes. I think that's a good idea."
"It's your idea," I pointed out.
"Let's go to the Walmart. They have everything." I suggested.
"OK," he grinned as if it was my idea all the time.
Sure enough, the Walmart did have everything. We went inside and got a tree stand, a long string of lights, some tinsel and cute little ornaments. We found a nice wreath with a red bow, and a battery operated candle in the center. Once back outside we picked a tree that looked full and tied it on top of my Toyota. We drove back to my little apartment and moved things around to set it up in front of the window, and spent the rest of the afternoon decorating it. We fastened the wreath to the center of the apartment door. Marco had to leave for his job at the restaurant before we finished, but I promised to have it ready by the time he got home. He called at 10:15 and I went to get him.
"Did you finish decorating the tree?" he asked as soon as he was in the car.
When we pulled in front of the apartment he could see the tree though our front window and the wreath on the front door. He got out and stood looking at it, smiling broadly.
I stood behind him with my arms around his shoulders. "What do you think?"
He put his arms over mine. "I think it's beautiful, Marty. It's the most beautiful Christmas tree I ever saw."
I had left the lights off in the apartment so that the inside was illuminated only by the lights on the tree. Marco stopped just inside the door and looked at it. When I held him from behind I felt tears drip on my arms. "Thank you Marty. I really love it."
"I can't believe you never had a Christmas tree," I told him.
"This is my first real Christmas," he said softly.
"Merry Christmas, Marco. I love you," I whispered in his ear.
He walked over and sat on our new sofa. "Don't turn on the lights, OK? I want to look at it some more."
I sat next to him, put my arm around his shoulder and pulled him close. "Look as long as you like. It's not going anywhere."
"Neither am I," he whispered. "I love you Marty. I'm going to stay right here forever."
We sat there admiring the tree for a long time. We sat until we both fell asleep. I woke up about two in the morning with a crick in my neck. Marco was sound asleep. I started to wake him, then picked him up and carried him into the bedroom. I laid him down, pulled his clothes off and slipped him under the covers, then crawled in bed next to him and held him close.
It was going to be a wonderful Christmas for us both.
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