Jerry Kendall: My Christmas Story: No Stolen Yule Tree Back In The Day

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By Jerry Kendall, guest columnist

I went to the post office yesterday to send a package. The nice lady behind the counter, was smiling despite the long line of folks lined up to send off Christmas gifts. She asked if I would like someone to sign for the package at the other end to ensure that it didn’t get stolen off the front porch. 

I thought. “Who would steal a Christmas gift off of someone’s porch?” My thoughts went back to long ago when a young sailor, stationed far from home, was wrestling with his own conscience. He was newly married, living off base and trying to get by on $300.00 a month. It was right before Christmas and his new bride sure wanted a tree but he had no money.

 A grocery store, near his apartment had a bunch of them out on their parking lot which they left out all night. He thought about coming by at night and just taking one. But, stealing a Christmas tree seemed like a terrible thing to do. 

Besides when he was younger and in the boy scouts, his troop sometimes sold the trees to make money for the scouts. The more he thought about it, the more it seemed like a bad idea. 

Finally, he decided to go the owner of the store. He asked him if there was something he could do to earn one of those trees to take home. 

The man put his hand on the young sailor’s shoulder and said, “You’ve earned it by wearing that uniform young man. How about you just pick yourself out a tree and take it home.” 

I learned a lot that day and I have never forgotten it. 

Merry Christmas everyone.

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