What we didn't expect was to discover an underground Christmas Tree Smuggling ring.
It was a rainy day, last Saturday, but we weathered the storm and made our way to Flower Mound, Texas. It's a really nice area of the state, with lots of impressive estates and big cows and a golf course that is, according to their sign, the best in America. We pulled into the parking lot of the tree stand and unloaded the boys from the truck. They were giggling and excited and jumping, and okay, maybe that was totally me.
Anyway, we started to browse, and it didn't take very long for me to spot a price tag. I kept walking and then stopped as the figure registered. My brow wrinkled and I turned to my husband.
"How much are these freakin' trees?"
"A lot, apparently."
My "a lot" he meant, over a hundred dollars. For one. One tree. One dying tree that may or may not burn your entire house down if you forget to water it. Some of the bigger trees were over $300.
"Holy shit," I said.
"MOMMY! YOU SAID A NAUGHTY WORD!" said my kid.
We walked around a bit more and I tried to make sense of the pricing. Was it the fuel costs? Where were they importing these suckers from, The fucking Netherlands?
Since we were new to the region, my husband and I simply assumed this is HOW THEY DO in Texas. Live trees are a commodity, we thought. I guess you'll have to get another job, we thought. Maybe we'll go PLASTIC next year, we thought.
So we bought the damn tree and took it home. It was still raining. I tried not to question my dedication to Christmas, but it was hard. I turned to Twitter for strength.
A few days later, my husband was running to the Home Depot to return some things. While he was there, he walked past the tree section to eyeball the price tags.
"You'll never believe how much they are here." He told me over the phone.
Me: Shut up.
Him: It'll make you sick.
Me: So they're normally priced everywhere else in Texas?!
Me: Those motherfucki---
My kid: MOMMY! YOU SAID---
Me: [to the kid] MOMMY IS TALKING TO DADDY AND I KNOW WHAT I SAID.
Him: Yeah, I think I might call those black market smugglers and give them a piece of my mind.
Me: I'm stunned. They basically charged us $100 to stand in the fucking rain.
We have yet to call the folks in Flower Mound or write our Congressman a strongly worded letter (I'd have to look up the Congressperson first, and I'm too scared that it's Perry). But there's certainly something fishy going on over there at that quaint little tree stand in Flower Mound, Texas.
Something fishy, indeed.