The spirit of Christmas glides home on a Flexible Flyer

flex flyerTwo young boys, huffing and puffing, drag a Flexible Flyer up worn wooden steps, banging and scraping. The boys are dressed like dark woolen snowmen from their watch-capped heads to their rubber snow boots.

Mother stands over Little Sister, dressing her for the occasion – knitted cap tied under chin with a scarf, multi-layered clothing, and hand-me-down boots.

The three siblings slurged through heavy snow in the driveway, passed the mint and white Chrysler with its push-button start, into the snow drifts. These children are on a mission!

They trudged a couple hundred yards – past the monkey ball trees – until they set foot on the school grounds, then round the back to the dumpsters.

The Christmas tree adorned the large lobby of Lora Little Elementary School. After final classes marking winter break, the tree was dragged from the lobby and tossed unceremoniously out the loading dock doors. The tree is forlorn now, marked by several bent and broken branches and bent and wrinkled tinsel.flex close up

True to the elementary school tradition, this tree is twelve feet tall and wide as a 1950s Buick. The Flexi Flyer is a scant few feet long, but none of the logistics mattered. If they did not rescue the tree, they would have no tree.

The three siblings dragged the tree past the sledding hill where one brother would break his leg, past the weed-choked fence where the other brother would contract poison oak, past the school’s towering metal and chain swing set where sister would jump, fly!, and dislocate her elbow.

Out of the schoolyard and down the home street, sliding down the driveway, around the house and into the back yard.

Much like Paul Bunyan, Older Brother dispatched his Boy Scout ax from its leather pouch and commenced to chop the tree to a manageable height so it would fit into the rec room.

They set the tree in a teeny, dented tree stand.  They re-arranged the leftover tinsel then added their own stored decorations. Delicate, paint-flaked ornaments with misshapen hooks, delicately and laboriously placed upon bent and broken branches, until the tree brought the spirit of Christmas into the home.

early christmas - Copy


Filed under Special Events

15 responses to “The spirit of Christmas glides home on a Flexible Flyer

  1. Karoline Stock

    What wonderful memories! Merry Christmas to you and your family!! I hope you all have a great day.

  2. Happy Christmas Eve Karen, your first sentence drew me in and I didn’t want to stop reading. This could make a great childrens book.

  3. Great story! They don’t make sleds like they used to. Coming from MI, we always had K-Champion sleds, but same principle. Great hills, and those things FLEW, didn’t they, Karen? (And they were dangerous, as your bro seems to have found out.) Love the determination and ingenuity.

    Merry Christmas to your and yours! Happy New Year, too. 🙂

  4. karenrsanderson

    No, Vaughan, they do not make em like this any more! Yeah, they flew, often to much dismay and broken bones! Thank you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

  5. I was nine, my first Christmas in Iowa after moving back to the land of my birth from Texas. My very first Christmas present there was…of course…a Flexible Flyer. I did my share of flying on that thing. Worst injury was a badly split lower lip.

  6. Nice post Karen, I had so much fun on my Flyer!

  7. I love this story. What a special memory. Have a wonderful Christmas Karen!

  8. karenrsanderson

    Thank you, Brad and Darlene. Merry Christmas to all!

  9. Sounds to me like the three little siblings filled the house with their own Christmas spirit! The tree was ‘icing on the cake’ (or ‘tinsel on the tree’?) Lovely story.

  10. Audrey Keith

    Loved it. It brings back memories.

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