The Christmas Palm Tree (Short Christmas Story)

All the trees in the lot were excited. They couldn't wait to be Christmas trees!

If only their lot weren't so far away from anything, off a freeway from California to Nevada. They could see the cars on the freeway, but it seemed the cars couldn't see them. Cars whizzed by, but none stopped at the Christmas tree lot. All the trees could do was dream.

"I hope I will be decorated in gold!" said Cedar.

"I hope I will be decorated in silver!"said Fir.

"I hope I will be decorated in red and green!" said Pine.

"I don't care how I'm decorated," said a voice from far above all the rest, "as long as I can be a Christmas tree."

For a moment all the trees on the lot were confused. Where had the voice had come from? They looked up and saw a tall, tall palm tree, which grew at the side of the lot.

Cedar, Fir and Pine began to laugh. "You're a palm tree! You can't be a Christmas tree!"

"Why not?" asked Palm.

"You aren't an evergreen!" said Cedar.

"You are too tall to fit in a house," said Fir.

"You don't have any branches to hang ornaments," said Pine.

They all laughed again. Palm bowed his head sadly.

Spruce spoke up. "Hey! We all want to be Christmas trees...but we aren't being very Christmas-y, are we?"

Cedar, Fir and Pine stopped laughing. They looked at each other.

"You're right, Spruce!" Cedar said.

"No, you're right," said Palm. "I'm too tall and all I have are broad palm could anyone decorate me or fit me in a house?"

"You are green all year long, at least!" said Spruce.

"We'll help you, Palm," said Fir. "We'll decorate you ourselves!" 

Pine scratched his head with his branch. "But how will we hang ornaments on him?"

"Lights!" cried Spruce. "We will wrap him in lights!"

That's just what they did. They took a string of lights from the fence around the lot and wrapped them round and round the tall, tall trunk of the palm tree, right up to the top. Then they placed a big star right on top of his head.

"You're a real Christmas tree now, Palm!" they all cried. "How sparkly you are!"

“He will probably be the only one of us who does get to be a Christmas tree,” said Fir. “Since no cars ever come here.”

But as soon as Palm turned on his star and his lights, a strange thing happened. Car after car turned off the freeway and drove to the lot. Children ran out of the cars and pointed to the tree they wanted to take home.

The trees were so happy! One by one, they were all chosen to be Christmas trees.

“Palm! We owe this all to you!” they said. “You are so tall that all the cars could see your lights! Thank you so much! You turned out to be the best Christmas tree of us all.”

The tree friends all went their separate ways, to bring children joy and beauty on Christmas Day. At last, only Palm remained. After Christmas, the lights came down and the star turned off.

He was all alone. He missed his friends.

Then the true miracle happened. Santa himself arrived in his red sleigh the day after Christmas.

“Palm tree, Christmas is over for this year. I wanted to tell you about your new home!”

“My new home?” asked Palm.

“Didn’t you know? Any tree who is a Christmas tree gets to live forever after in Christmasland at the North Pole.”

“Wow!” said Palm. He tried to step into the sleigh, but his roots were stuck in the ground. “Uh…”

“Ho ho ho!” laughed Santa. “Whenever you’re ready!”

So for many years, Palm stood next to the lot, every Christmas, telling all the distant cars where to find trees, until at last, he too was ready to go live with all his friends in Christmasland.

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