This past holiday season I was elated to finally be able to sponsor a tree in the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village.
The Magical Forest is a live grove of trees that are decorated by local businesses, families, etc. The money goes to support Opportunity Village, an amazing non-profit that provides work opportunities for the intellectually challenged. In the Forest there is a carousel, a miniature golf course, a train, pictures with Santa-- it is a part of our family's holiday experience. However, every stinking year the trees "sell out."
Well, thank goodness for the recession!
This year I was able to adopt my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! My son and I decorated it in blue and silver (company colors). We took special care to make sure the ornaments were on tight with pipe cleaners since it's an outdoor event.
When we got to the gates, just as I feared, they were locked. The place was deserted.
At this point, I should take the time to explain that a few years ago the Magical Forest was vandalized. The security in the Forest is top notch. There is a gate around the Forest which is surrounded by a large, high, exterior fence. And did I mention that no one was around?
My son and I joked that we would have to spend the night in the Gingerbread House. It was one of those situations that was funny the first five minues, then as a mom, I started to get a little worried. It was getting dark. It was cold. Finally, we saw a man on a cell phone across the parking lot. So we started yelling.
And shaking the gates.
Just then a young man came running up, with a panicked look.
I asked him if he had a key to unlock the gates.
He then pointed to the 2 foot high decorative fence. He suggested we step over it.
Apparently the larger gates weren't locked afterall. I told him I had thought they were and everyone had left (it WAS Friday after all...).
He then started laughing.
He was with the Best Buddies program- a program that pairs the intellectually challenged with partners. He thought he had left some buddies in the forest. Yes, the people that we were there to "support."
I said nope, the buddies had all managed to find their way out. We, on the other hand, were trapped by the tiny 2 foot fence.
The good news is, we were able to "escape" by cautiously walking over the fence.
And my husband has yet another reason to tease me.