It was a crisp December morning and the young Frazser Fir trees were about to experience their very first Christmas. These were young trees that had sprouted out of the ground in May, and the excitement that they heard outside of the surrounding fence was only moments away from being revealed.
Sunrise Industries, the company that owned the land for over fifty years, allowed all of their employees and their families to go to the 100 acre field to select their seasonal Christmas tree for the upcoming holiday. Sunrise Industries employed half the people that lived in the small community of Smiley Creek, North Carolina. The tree cutting event was very special to everyone, and it was very good for the morale of the company. With the children being allowed to participate, it made this December morning a family outing. The kids looked forward to this event every year with great expectation.
Spiney was one of the young trees that was enjoying their first Christmas. He was amazed by how excited and happy all the kids were as they ran around looking for that special tree to call their own. Spiney, who had never seen a person before was thrilled by the excitement. He knew then that when he grew up, all he ever wanted to be was a family's Christmas tree. He realized that he was too young and small, but he could wait several years to grow taller and have branches that filled out to form the perfect tree.
By the time Spiney's second Christmas came around, he had grown to almost 3 feet. He was bigger than all the other young trees, but he knew he was still too small to be chosen that year. Even though his dream of becoming a family's Christmas tree would not come true this Christmas, he still eagerly awaited seeing the smiling faces on all the children and their parents as they scurried about to find that special tree.
Spiney grew to over 5 feet tall in his fourth year. He had grown straight and he was easily a foot taller than the other trees his age. Being so tall allowed him to see down into the valley where all the houses were decorated and the Christmas trees were dressed with lights and ornaments. This made Spiney dream even more about the day when he would be a centerpiece for the Christmas holidays. He could only imagine the gleaming faces on the kids as they played around the decorated tree.
After the holidays were over, Spiney did notice that the other trees were whispering and laughing about something. He thought they were laughing because he was so much taller and Spiney was the only tree that had a pair of blue birds nesting in his branches. He enjoyed the bird family being there In return Spiney's branches kept his feathered friends out of the rain and snow.
Excerpted from "Spiney, the Unwanted Christmas Tree" by Wayne McLendon. Copyright © 2013 by Wayne McLendon. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.