O Christmas Tree

I have long believed that you should not set up the Christmas Tree until the day after Thanksgiving. 

Let Thanksgiving have its day!” I have always said.

And then I moved to a foreign country that does not really celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It’s now mid-November and feels like the middle of winter (our first snow was in September) and I find myself longing for some familiar holiday atmosphere.

So this week I decided to buy a Christmas Tree.

Unfortunately, no one told the Mongolians that Christmas décor is supposed to be available beginning in October so finding a Christmas tree was proving difficult. 

On Wednesday, I saw a Facebook ad for a Christmas Store located in a building downtown, near where I was studying surfing Facebook.  So, I determined it was time for a break and headed in search of the PANDA Christmas store.

I had walked through every floor, didn’t see a Christmas store, and had given up hope.  As I turned the corner toward the down escalator, I saw a new shop where people were setting up Christmas Trees!

I found a tree I liked and asked how much it cost (in Mongolian) and he told me (in English).  But that was the extent of his English so when I asked the salesperson if I could buy it he pulled his phone out of his pocket called someone who could speak English then handed the phone to me.  So I talked with the person on the other end of the phone and told him I wanted the tree I was looking at and he said, “Okay.”

Then he asked when I wanted it delivered.

I was not expecting this. When you are carless in a foreign country, delivery is one of the best things ever. This meant I didn’t have to try to get a taxi (which I’ve never done before) with a giant Christmas Tree (which I’ve also never done before).

I put 30% down with an agreement to pay the remainder on delivery. 

I walked away without a Christmas Tree but with hopes one would be delivered the next afternoon.  I bought a couple simple ball ornaments and headed home. 

On Thursday night at 8 o’clock I got a call asking where I lived and if I was home.  (That might sound creepy, don’t worry, it’s not). The driver told me he’d be here in a few minutes.  An hour later he called to say he was here.  I went downstairs, let him in and he ran up the stairs with the giant Christmas Tree box on his shoulder. Like, literally ran up 3 flights of stairs.  He was winded but I guess he didn’t have to carry the tree as long.  Life is full of trade-offs.


So today, Friday, we cleared some space in our living room, got out our new ornaments, and waited for LeYanna to come home from school.  When she got home, we turned on the Christmas music got our tree ready for Christmas. 

Merry Christmas from the Ellisons!

6 thoughts on “O Christmas Tree

  1. Love the tree, decorations (cat included) and the whole story. Wondered if you would be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. Glad to hear Christmas is starting at the Ellison’s! I want to put ours up but am waiting for Thanksgiving.


    1. I bought a turkey. It was not cheap. Mindy is baking an apple pie. I’m going to try to make stuffing but I don’t have the four spices the recipe listed suggested. I’m looking for sweet potatoes (I’ve seen them before) and Mindy is confident she can make gravy. Mashed potatoes will be easy and I can probably make rolls from scratch. The four of us (Ellisons and Mindy) are skipping school on Thursday and relaxing and celebrating. I’m sure I’ll write more about that 🙂


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