Tossing Christmas trees takes its toll. Each morning we wake and search for clean work clothes. Despite our exhausted, aching bodies, we cannot wait to get to our tree lot in North Scottsdale, mainly for the incredible Jewish Deli next door. We are hooked on the corned beef and lox

.Mare and Jack getting into the spirit

Jack loves to hang out at the tree lot, but it is not fond of the hat!The tree experience will stay with us forever, though. Some folks treat tree handlers like their hired help, talking over us as if we are invisible. Many utilize the buying experience to hone their bargaining skills and attempt to get the best possible price, despite their obvious excessive wealth. All of them love to pet our dog, Jack, who brings us to a common emotion.

Others share heart-warming stories, such as a man whose family had suffered the loss of a child in a car accident one Christmas season. In an attempt to revive the spirit of Christmas, the man brought one of our trees home for the first time in seven years. A Swiss couple relives memories from their childhood in Switzerland, where families do not see the tree until Christmas Eve, and then decorate it with lit candles.  A woman from Germany tears at the memory of her father playing Christmas Carols on the piano and singing (The only good memory of her father).  Another woman buys a tree that is still bundled in twine, which she will throw into her backyard pool to keep it moist until a few days before Christmas.

I’ve never seen so many Mercedes, Lexus and BMW SUV’s in my life. After twenty-one days of handling hundreds of trees, we are sore and sick. Each of the three-hundred trees we sell, have been lifted and dropped by the human hand at least seven times. Despite our physical bodies giving out, we take away unique memories, and have a better marketing plan for next year. Plus, I lost ten pounds, and Mare lost seven, in twenty-one days!

Christmas Eve dinner in Kayenta: Navajo Tacos!

We load up the dog, Jack and head out for Durango, Colorado. The drive through the vast Navajo Nation, with red rocks and endless plains continues to astound us. Perhaps the greatest reward of all was a stop at “The Blue Coffee Pot” in Kayenta, where we consume Navajo Tacos for our Christmas Eve dinner.

Jack enjoys a break from the drive

Jack finally gets to place a paw in four different states at the same time. The Four Corners Monument is now open for business, despite being deserted.

Jack sits in four states at once

We are headed to Golden, CO, but will spend our Christmas in Durango. Most restaurants are closed, and Mare catches my cold, so we end up in a motel munching on potato chips, drinking beer and consuming various cold remedies all to no avail.

Enjoying the snow in Durango

On Christmas morning, the three of us stroll into historic downtown Durango where the only business open is a Sushi Bar. We cannot do Sushi for breakfast, so we keep walking. We find an Applebee’s that stays open until two o’clock this day, so we tie-up Jack outside and proceed to pound a few beers for breakfast, better than sushi. A couple of hamburger sliders and some onion rings later, we make the long walk back to the motel. The town is deserted as they did not receive enough snow to start the ski season. Our colds come back with a vengeance after the beer buzz wears off. So we nap the afternoon away.

Chinese food is the only option tonight, as we dine in the motel room and fall asleep, serenaded by the television, playing “Elf.”  Something about this motel room produces a magical feeling, and I’m not sure what exactly it is…perhaps the red wine and Robitussin.