Oh Christmas Tree

Getting a Christmas tree and decorating it was a family tradition for Oxnard’s Dickensonian family, the Crachits – despite all that Mr. Scrooge might do to stop them. By golly, they’d get one, but they would need the advice of California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard to accomplish their festive task.

On the meager lucre Ebenezer C. Scrooge paid him, Bob Crachit was losing hope of getting a tree for Christmas. It was for Timothy’s sake. His youngest, a diminutive buck-toothed lad in dire need of a charitable orthodontist, was reduced to a limp and walked with an odd little cane. He was afflicted with Goober’s Palsy, a degenerative illness said to be nearly always fatal since the economic collapse of ’07, when the cure for it had supposedly been lost. “Tim,” an intuitive child of eight years, seemed to know he might die someday, but was constantly embarrassing the Crachits by blurting, “I got Goobers!” with the regularity of a metronome.

“Why must I work on Christmas Day this year?” asked Bob Crachit.

“Because it falls on a Friday, and that’s a weekday,” replied the irascible Scrooge.

But the next day, a neighbor, Mr. Alfred C. Nice to be precise, gave a tree to the Crachits after hearing of the family’s plight.

“It’s for you, Tiny Tim,” the generous benefactor told the usually mild-mannered youngest child in the privacy of the Crachit’s humble parlor.

“Don’t you ever call me that,” hissed the palsied boy.

Timothy was to rue those incongruously hostile words spoken on the eve of Christmas Eve. As the festive decorating of the tree advanced to its denouement, and Tim was hoisted up into the air above his father’s scrawny shoulders, the boy slipped while preparing to place the star, and was painfully, if not fatally, impaled through his tender belly. “Oh Christmas tree!” the buck-toothed boy screamed. At this point, with a trip to the nearest emergency room imminent, Bob Crachit needed reassurance and Christmas cheer in the worst way. So he called his California Health Insurance agent, Matt Lockard, to see if “Christmas tree impalings” were covered under his family plan. As the family eagerly listened, he received his answer.
“Oh yes they are!” he exclaimed upon hanging up the phone.

Later, after being stitched up, Tim Cratchit brought them all back to reality. “God bless everyone,” the palsied boy said with a cookie cutter elfish grin, followed by the inevitable, “I got Goobers.”

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