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Entry date: 12-24-2023 – The Trees Christmas Story – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

 

Merry Christmas Eve from Dan Lewis.

 

*****

 

Dear JR,

 

Merry Christmas, son, from the great beyond. I had a dream that first night in Maine, when everything began, that made me think of you. This story just stayed in my head for the first few days I was up there, so I wrote it down for you.

 

I think it must’ve been the trees, you know. Maine just made me think of Christmas.

 

It’s the story of a pie man.

 

*****

 

Two weeks before Christmas, the pie man was getting ready to close up his pie shop for the night. It was just after 3:30PM and the sky was already getting dark. In fact, it looked like snow would be falling before the pie man got home.

 

It hadn’t been a busy day, but the pie man knew he would be selling a lot of pies over the next few weeks. People loved his pies at Christmas time, especially the meat pies. He could sell twenty or thirty per day sometimes.

 

Even though the day had been kind of slow, he had sold 12 meat pies, a blackberry rhubarb, and three sweet potato pies. The lights would stay on for another day and he whistled to himself as he swept the floor. The pie man was content.

 

Then the bells on the door jiggled and the pie man turned to see a man coming into his shop. The man was tall and wearing an expensive looking overcoat. It was tan London Fog and the pie man thought the man looked a little bit like a movie star.

 

“Looks like you’re ready to close up,” the man said.

 

“I am indeed, sir, but I’m happy to fetch you a pie or two,” the pie man said with a wink.

 

“I’m actually here to place an order for my boss, friend. I’m hoping you can help me out.”

 

“If your boss is looking for pie, you came to the right place.”

 

The man in the tan overcoat smiled and pulled a piece of paper out of the right pocket of the crisp looking coat. He handed the paper to the pie man and the pie man read what was written upon it in possibly the nicest handwriting he had ever seen. As he read through the list, the pie man nodded his head.

 

“This is a pretty big order, sir. When did your boss need these pies?” the pie man asked.

 

“Christmas Eve. The boss is having a big party at his house. In fact…” the man said as he reached into the left pocket of his coat. “Here is an invitation for you.”

 

The pie man took the envelope and set the piece of paper with the order written on it on the counter. The envelope had the pie man’s name on it, which made him both happy and uneasy at the same time.

 

“How does your boss know who I am?” the pie man asked.

 

“My boss knows everyone in town, sir. He would like you to join him for a Christmas Eve celebration. Now, about those pies.”

 

The pie man ignored the man in the nice jacket for a few seconds as he opened the invitation. It read, “You are cordially invited to dinner for Christmas Eve. The address is 1172 Nearhaven Lane. 6pm. Christmas Casual Attire.” This was all in a fancy gold script.

 

“Turn the card over, please, sir,” said the man with the overcoat.

 

The pie man looked at him and then moved his eyes back to the card he was already turning over. In the same wonderful handwriting from the pie list, there was another message:

 

“There is someone I want you to meet. Please do come.”

 

“Do you know anything about this,” the pie man asked. He couldn’t hide the deepening shade of red that was crossing his cheeks.

 

“No, sir. My boss didn’t say anything to me about the invitation except to give it to you when I placed the pie order.”

 

“Well, okay then. I’m going to need a deposit on these pies.”

 

“That’s quite all right. I have been instructed to pay in full today.”

 

The man in the expensive coat reached into the breast pocket and pulled out yet another envelope. This one was plump and made an audible “thud” sound when he put it into the pie man’s hand.

 

“This should cover everything. If there is any extra, my boss said for you to hold onto it. In other words, it’s all yours.”

 

What had been just an okay day turned into the biggest day in the history of the pie man’s pie shop. It turned his week into the biggest week in the history of the pie man’s pie shop and made this month the biggest month, too. IN fact, this was the single biggest sale he had ever made.

 

“I’ll have the pies ready anytime you would like to pick them up, sir.”

 

“Would you mind bringing them? My boss wants to give you full credit for these pies. You are the best pie maker in the country. At least that’s what he says, and he wants you to be celebrated.”

 

“Um, sure. Yes, I can do that although…” the pie man was flustered by the compliment.

 

“If you would like, I can arrange a car to pick you and the pies up here on Christmas Eve. My boss said you might have a hard time getting them all in your car.”

 

Now the pie man was feeling uneasy again.

 

“No, that’s okay. I can get these pies to your bosses’ house. No problem. Thank you, though…and please thank him, too,” said the pie man.

 

“Him?” the man in the nice coat looked confused.

 

“Your boss,” said the pie man.

 

The man in the coat smiled.

 

“My boss is not a him, sir.”

 

“My mistake. I’m sorry about that.”

 

The man in the coat just turned around and headed to the door with the same smile on his face. When he got to the door, he turned and waved to the pie man.

 

“See you at the party, sir.”

 

And the man was gone.

 

*****

 

See you tomorrow.



It was cool to see the clouds lit up this way yesterday morning when I took the dogs out. The sun was trying to come up, but not in my backyard.

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