Couple’s Christmas tree mishap makes for lasting memories - Catholic Courier
A pillow contains an image of Santa driving a truck with a Christmas tree in the back.

(Photo courtesy of Leonor Rivera)

Couple’s Christmas tree mishap makes for lasting memories

Our second year of marriage, my late husband, Ed, suggested we cut down a Christmas tree. Since I grew up in New York City with artificial Christmas trees, I was excited about getting my first real tree.

We drove to a Christmas tree farm. It was snowing lightly as we walked around holding hands looking at lots of trees.We found the perfect one. Ed chopped the tree down. We dragged it to the car. The farm owner tied it to our car roof. We drove home singing, “Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree.” I was like a little kid shaking with excitement. I imagined the tree in our home all decorated while we looked at it sipping hot chocolate.

In our driveway, we cut the ropes and dragged the tree to the front door. Yikes! The tree was bigger than we realized. It didn’t fit through the front door. It didn’t fit through the kitchen door. Since the sliding glass doors were wider, we thought the tree would fit. Ed went inside to pull the tree while I pushed the tree from the outside. Ed counted one, two, three. The tree landed on top of Ed with me on top of the tree. I rolled off the tree and laid on the floor beside Ed. We froze, then Ed started laughing, so I laughed too. He pushed the tree off himself, cuddled me on the floor and smiled his beautiful smile and said, “Merry Christmas.”

This year, I found a pillow in a store with Santa driving a red truck with a Christmas tree in the back. It reminded me of our tree adventure. I smiled. I bought the pillow and will snuggle it during Christmas as I whisper “Merry Christmas” to Ed in heaven.


Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a genetic heart defect on Aug. 1, 2020.

The 2024 Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends are Feb. 23-25 and Nov. 15-17, 2024. All weekends take place at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua.

To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit

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