There’s No Vacancy in my Christmas Tree

My husband and I have known each other for about 15 years, and as a couple we’ve only purchased and decorated one Christmas tree. We always traveled during the Holidays so it never made sense to get a tree that no one would see and enjoy.

Even after our oldest was born we still left the tree buying and decorating to grandparents since we would be at their house during the holidays anyway.

When my daughter was 3 we finally decided it was time to get a tree. After all, Christmas was going to be at our house because I was just days away from having my son, and nobody wanted to miss that. So we hopped in the car, well I kind of hobbled, and headed to a nearby Christmas tree lot.

My daughter was so excited, it was her first Christmas tree, so we let her pick out her favorite. We plopped it on the car and headed home to start the decorating festivities. We lived in a condo on the second floor at the time so my husband had to carry the tree up 2 flights of stairs alone.

When he finally got it up the stairs it was time to hammer on the stand, so my neighbor and I watched as he did his handy work. Then as he was hammering something fell from the tree and I screamed, “What is that!”  There were 3 white things on the ground.

My husband looked closer and that’s when we all figured it out. RATS!

I slammed the front door, my neighbor slammed hers and my husband flew down the stairs.

There were baby rats in our tree – I think 5 of them and they had fallen out of their nest. From the windows of the condo I yelled at him about what we should do. I think he was grossed out because he had that tree on his shoulder for 2 flights of stairs.

And we were all wondering, where the heck is the Mama Rat?

With the help of our neighbor’s husband they sent the rats to a better place and far away from my front balcony.

I called the Christmas tree lot and told them what happened and that they needed to come get their tree. So that year we decided against a Christmas tree and decorated one of the house plants instead.

Last year my daughter’s persistence forced us to muster up the courage to get a tree. I made my husband thoroughly inspect it for residents before bringing it anywhere near the car. That tree turned out great.

This weekend we will be going Christmas tree shopping again, because the entire family will be coming here. Hopefully the tree will have a no vacancy sign again.

So when you go tree shopping, shake that tree and search between those branches…unless of course you want some extra mouths to feed this holiday season.

Have a great critter-free Holiday!



  1. Joey says

    Oh my gosh, how hysterical is this article. Well, probably not at the time, but oh my gosh RATS in your tree! Yikes. That would give me the creepy crawlys all season. Yeah, make sure to check for critters in your tree.
    Thanks for the tip and laugh!
    Happy Holidays – critter free of course!!

  2. says

    OMG!!! I though your article was going to be how you and your family put so many ornaments on your tree that there was “no vacancy” for any more! I would have never had guessed this!! I have always had an artificial tree and everyone has always made fun of me. May I use this story in defense of my lovey 7 foot pre lite tree?

  3. mvance79 says

    About ten years ago, before my brothers and sisters and I had kids, we still helped my parents pick out a tree, cut it down and lug it back to the car. We all decorated it at their house because much like you, that is where we spent our holiday mornings. This particular year, we had our tree up and all decorated and were all gathered at my parents for Christmas, sitting in the family room admiring the tree when we all started to notice things moving out of the corners of our eyes. Finally some one spoke up and got up to investigate. There was a praying mantis nest in the tree and it had hatched and hundreds of baby praying mantis’ were jumping, running, hopping and scattering all over the family room with in minutes! My sister ran out of the house “to save herself” and my mother grabbed tupperware containers hoping to try and catch them. My father called the zoo (thinking they were an endangered bug or something) which they proceeded to laugh at his story of being invaded by these “creatures!” So here we are on Christmas Eve running around with Tupperware ~ all ten of us ~ trying to catch these little GROSS bugs! It was a Christmas that we also will never forget and now, we all have our beautiful prelit fake trees. The best Christmas gift the following year we was we found my mother a 12″ X 15″ rustic iron praying mantis that now sits and guards the tree. I agree with the advice above ~ PLEASE SHAKE YOUR TREE! (Or go for the quite realistic fake ones) cause you never know what you might get!

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