Walnut Grove, Minn.-In a surprising paradox, local jack-of-all trades Charles Ingalls once built a house from trees on a treeless prairie and yet cannot find a decent tree for his family at Christmas.
“When I saw the magical things Charles did in Kansas, well, I was very excited to see what Christmas had in store,” Caroline Ingalls reports. “You couldn’t even see trees where we were on the prairie in Kansas, and yet Charles built our house from trees. Now that we live in Minnesota, where trees are plentiful, I figured that all that energy he once spent searching for building materials would be channeled into finding us a tree, a really grand Christmas tree.”
Instead, sources verify that the tree Charles provided his family is just a little scrap of a pine. “I noticed the tree when I delivered that stove–hey, long story, don’t get me started on that whole situation,” Nels Oleson, proprietor of Oleson’s Mercantile, tells us. “I was surprised by how small it was. In fact, I immediately thought of that tin star that I gave Carrie a bargain on. Would this little tree even be able to support such a star?”
“The tree was smaller than my respect for Laura,” Nels’ daughter Nellie, who accompanied him on the trip, reports. “The only reason I didn’t say so is because Laura was selling me her pony.”
Caroline Ingalls lamented the small tree, expressing that she was really hoping the girls would have a grand tree for their first Christmas in Walnut Grove. “But,” Caroline added, “there is a bright side to everything. Since this tree was so small, we only used a fraction of our popcorn stock decorating it.”