With Christmas just over a week away, I'm feeling the magic. I'm grateful for that because sometimes circumstances make it elusive. A few years ago, just as we became empty nesters, my husband had the nerve to need major surgery the week before the big Ho, Ho, Ho. I had been missing the days of searching out the most perfect Christmas tree with the kids and now I didn't even have my hubby to steer me away from the scraggliest tree on the lot.
I planned to go to our favorite place of all, Fasel & Sons Nursery in Oak Lawn. We had always made it our place for Christmas trees, plants and flowers, and big 'ol pumpkins in the fall. So, early one evening, while my guy was comfortable in bed and happily medicated I might add, I set off alone.
Feeling a little melancholy, I walked down the paths surrounded by trees of all shapes and sizes, the Christmas music wafting through the air. I stopped to admire one when a tall young man in a red velvet hat appeared. I gestured to the tree. "Oh," he said. "Fir Elton John?" I thought I heard him incorrectly. I looked around a bit helplessly and backed into..."Douglas Firbanks, Jr!" Santa's elf was beaming from his seven-foot head to his toes. "Or would you prefer something different?" He turned and gestured, "Meet Spruce Springsteen!"
I quickly settled on Fir Elton John and while the elf made himself busy writing up the sales ticket, I walked toward the beckoning warmth of the store and stopped to look at the array of wreaths decorated with ribbons and pine cones. "And that would be Wreatha Franklin," a voice behind me said. I didn't have to turn around to know who it was. And it was then that I noticed the ears poking out from under his cap...they were baby pink and pointed. I gasped, but he didn't seem to notice. I pointed to my car and went inside to pay.
A few customers milled about and the employees, wearing the same red and white caps, looked decidedly normal. I did a quick check of their ears. At the counter I told the sales girl that a big helper had written down my order. "Well," the sales girl said. "You have a Douglas fir and a decorated wreath." She asked an employee to tie the tree to the roof of my car.
"Oh, no!" I said. "There is a nice, er... man out there helping me. He sold me a Fir Elton John and a Wreatha Franklin, and is taking care of it already." The sales girl started laughing. She repeated it to the girl at the next register and she started laughing along with the customers in line. I was feeling pretty merry by then, garnering all that attention and all. I handed my ticket over. "See!"
The girl finished ringing up my purchases and said "I'm sorry Miss, we have only one person working outdoors this evening and...oh! There he is now with your tree." I looked around. No sign of a seven-foot elf. It was just a nice guy and not very tall, ready to help me out. I quietly said to him, "Yes. That's Fir Elton John. He's mine." I heard someone say under their breath, "And I'm the Prince of Wales."
I got in my car and looked back at all the trees and the lights, sparkling like a lit up forest, an enchanted forest if you will. Then I caught sight of something bobbing in and amongst them, the tip of a red and white cap over the top of the trees. And then a pink face with pointed ears poked out and with a wave of his hand I heard, "Have a magical Christmas!" And we did!
Fasel & Sons Nursery has been in business since 1963 and they really do name their trees. I can't take credit for these hysterically funny ones here but I can assure you there is more this holiday season! They are located at 10841 S. Cicero Ave., Oak Lawn.