Scouts’ Christmas Trees

Alfie’s a Cub-Scout and part of what he does as a Cub is fundraise for the organisation.  That’s not a taxing task as there’s actually only one fundraiser a year and it’s the sale of Christmas trees.  Last year was the first year Alfie and I assisted the Scouts by standing in a prominent place in our community and selling the trees.  And we loved it.

Ready for business

Ready for business

This year Alfie and I drew the short-straw and had to be there at 5am to help unload the trees off the truck.  Love an early start!  Unfortunately I have a condition where if I have to be up early I wake about two hours before my alarm and then lie there getting worked up about how much sleep I’m missing out on.

Unloading the truck

Unloading the truck

On Saturday morning I woke when it was still pitch-black and I checked the time and saw it was only 3.30am.  Unbelievable.  I lay there until 4am and knowing there was no way I’d fall back to sleep I went down to the kitchen and started decorating a few more Christmas cakes.  May as well be productive.

Helping remove the trees from the truck

Helping remove the trees from the truck


I woke Alfie at the last possible moment and after a juice we headed outside and walked to the place where the scouts have been selling the trees for many, many years.  The trees had been cut down at 2am and then loaded onto a truck and driven from the Southern Highlands to Sydney.  The truck had already arrived at its destination and was being unloaded.  Alfie and I rushed to help the unloading of the remaining 150 trees.

Waiting for customers

Waiting for customers

The sale of the Christmas trees is well advertised and well known so we made our first sale before 6.30am.  Some people rise early – I might be up at that time but certainly not ready to leave the house.

Ready, set, go

Ready, set, go

It wasn’t all that warm and before the rush I went across the road and bought us a bacon and egg roll and a couple of hot chocolates.  Of course Alfie was saying, ‘I don’t want anything’ but I bought him some breakfast anyway.

Ready for business

Ready for business

By 8am we were run off our feet by the friendliest and most lovely people who thanked us for what we were doing for the Scouts and often paid over and above the asking price as they said the money was going to a very good cause.  Everyone arrived with smiles and wished us a Merry Christmas and it was a special time of feeling very much a part of a community.

Setting the scene

Setting the scene

Unfortunately, there’s always one person who behaves in the opposite way.  I saw a young couple with a baby looking at the trees and so I went up to them with a smile and asked, ‘Can I help you?’

And the man looked at me with a glare and replied, ‘Well do you have any expertise?’

I was slightly flawed by his response but launched into a spiel saying, ‘The trees you’re looking at have been discounted because they were cut down last week, however, if you saw off some of the trunk and give the tree a big drink it will come right’.

‘So are you saying the tree will be dead before Christmas?’ he demanded.

‘No, with a bit of care it should last until the New Year’.

‘Well then that’s all you needed to say’.  And then he spoke to his wife as rudely as he was speaking to me so I just backed up and let him choose a tree without any of my ‘expertise’.

Decorating a tree

Decorating a tree

But it would be wrong to focus on that one chap who needed a swift kick of Christmas spirit because everyone else appreciated that we’re all just volunteers trying to help out one of the world’s best and most successful organisations and doing it with or without ‘expertise’.

The man with the money

The man with the money

After seven hours of selling trees (where we sold our entire shipment plus extras that were delivered later), our shift was relieved by the afternoon replacements.  It had been a great experience and Alfie loved his volunteering.  We headed home to decorate our own Christmas tree.

Tired, hot and a wee bit over it.

Tired, hot and a wee bit over it.

And tonight I was at a pub watching a band perform.  I saw a couple walk in with their two-year old daughter and a newborn baby.  I went over to their table and said, ‘So how’s your Christmas tree?’  She looked at me kind of shocked and then recognition spread across her face and she said, ‘Oh, you sold me our tree!

We laughed about the coincidence and she told me how delighted she is with her purchase.

This is not the way to wear the Scout's uniform

This is not the way to wear the Scout’s uniform

The whole experience was positive and Alfie and I had a very worthwhile day being swept up with the Christmas spirit that spread amongst our community.

Comments

  1. we bought our christmas tree from the scouts because one of my friends has kids in scouts and it is a great place to buy them because they are so friendly and I know the money goes to a good cause. I can’t imagine buying a tree at 6.30 but I am impressed at you getting up so early – that is dedication (which you needed to tell the rude gentleman is much more important than expertise when it comes to christmas trees). But why didn’t you buy your tree from the scouts? Or did you?

    • I wanted to buy my tree from the Scouts – desperately. But I was told they weren’t getting in any trees taller than around six-foot. I have 12-feet ceilings in my home and a tree of that size would look dwarfed. I’m going to ask them if they can order in bigger trees next year.

  2. This post just brought back memories of shopping for the yearly tree with my Dad–it was our special job. He always laughingly accused me of insisting on one so big he had to cut off the bottom just so it would fit in the house. Such nice memories, just like the ones you are making with Alfie.

  3. That’s a wonderful thing to do and the grumpy man has more problems than just being a grinch. Your tree is beautiful – can’t wait to see it all lit up.

  4. Your dedication to supporting Alfie and the cub scouts deserves a stiff drink and a hearty ho-ho-ho. Well done you.

  5. I am exactly the same if I have to get up early – I flip flop for no less than 2 hours before I have to get up. So frustrating.
    Sad that there is always one bad apple – so pleased you and Alfie had a fund morning out.
    Have a happy day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  6. These sorts of events are such good fun – JR is and always has been so involved with community groups including Scouts for many years, now he is a Lion and involved with community policing.

  7. This sounds like a sleep deprived, but still lovely, way to enjoy the Christmas spirit. Thank goodness you only had one person needing a kick of it!

  8. Go Alfie. Negative people can be so annoying. Which reminds me, I haven’t done my tree yet- it’s usually one cut down from the bush.

  9. G’day The Scouts is such a wonderful organization for young ones to learn so many of life’s skills and about the sense of community!
    Well done Alfie too and am sure he appreciates everything his mother does do and like your productivity even at that ungodly hour! Cheers! Joanne

  10. A truly ‘smiley’ post!! My first husband was a senior scout leader and both girls so enjoyed their many years’ experiences in the ‘Brownies’ and then, somewhat in the ‘Guides’ [Guess it had ‘worn off’ at that stage unfortunately!!] there were too many other life experiences!! I SO believe!!!!!

    • I’m so glad you have many years of experience and joy from the years you spent in the scouts, brownies and girl guides. Really great times for your children and you as parents I’m sure.

  11. Our boys had to sell Christmas wreaths for scouts. I was happy to let this be a father-son experience, especially since the weather is typically nasty! What a nice experience for you and Alfie (besides the one grumpy customer) 🙂

  12. There’s always one nasty pasty it would seem – how rude!! I’m like you too when there’s an early alarm call I’m awake checking how long I have to sleep before it goes off. Which totally defeats the whole point of having an alarm…..

  13. What a fun thing to do with Alfie. 🙂 I’m so glad that most of your customers were so cheery and fantastic. 🙂

  14. What a great way to spread some Christmas cheer Charlie- and I bet it smelt wonderful too! I’m not surprised Alfie started to wilt, but I am surprised you had the energy to go in the evening after such an early start 🙂 xox

  15. What a wonderful way to spend the morning Charlie. I know what you mean about being swept up in the Christmas spirit. We went to see some lights on Saturday and I was grinning like a 2 year old!

  16. I’m the same if I need to wake up-especially for flights because of course they don’t wait for anyone (except for the pilot). A shame about that obnoxious chap but great that he was just one person and everyone else was nice!

  17. Such a shame you had to deal with that “unpleasant” man but I guess there’s always one. Such a lovely way to spend time with Alfie … it’s a memory he’ll cherish when he’s older.

  18. The boy scouts sell trees here too! Such a nice tradition and definitely a great cause!

  19. Too bad about the grinchy couple, glad you were able to look past it. What a nice thing to do, we used to have scouts sell trees but I haven’t seen them in quite a while.

  20. How wonderful of you and Alfie to volunteer to set up and sell trees. Volunteering like this, is, in my opinion, the best way to get in the Christmas spirit. It sounds like you handled that grumpy young man in the best way. FYI, our trees here in Minnesota are cut weeks before Christmas, even months, I would say.

  21. This was such an awesome thing to do 😀
    And I love the Christmas Spirit going around, music everywhere!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  22. Alfie is such a cutie! What a good kid for volunteering. I’m glad you two had so much fun!

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