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Laid-off worker blames his Christmas tree

AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora family said they are in need of some holiday help after the father was laid off from his job as a welder -- and they blame their Christmas tree.

The family tradition continued this year of going to the mountains to cut down a tree. This year, they came home with a 30-foot tree that they trimmed down to fit in the living room.

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Bryan Mower calls it his “$10,000 Christmas tree” because he said it cost him his savings and his sanity.

The family drove north of Winter Park to go tree hunting and found what they were looking for. When they tried to leave, things took a turn for the worse.

“We cut the trees we wanted and got ready to turn around,” Mower said. “And sure enough it didn’t start.”

“It” is Mower’s work truck. He uses it for his career as a welder and can’t go back to work without it.

Towing it from the snowy mountains is easier said than done. He went back a dozen times with new parts to try to get the truck started, but was unsuccessful.

They tried pulling it out with chains and bobcats, but got it stuck in the snow.

“From 5 o’clock until midnight, we only pulled it a quarter-mile up out of there,” Mower said.

He said he began to feel cursed after the truck was stuck for a month. They ended up hiring a local company who finally freed it from the snow.

“We were finally feeling good, like finally it’s going good,” Mower’s daughter Shasta said.

But when they put it on a dolly to tow it home, the truck almost immediately slipped off.

“I barely moved to back up and it came right off. It just sprung off the dolly,” Mower said.

The accident caused damage to the front end and wheels. Now, it’s sitting at a gas station in Frasier.

Mower said he doesn’t have any more money to tow it home or fix it. While he tries to figure out what to do next, he said his expensive tree is now a symbol of the true meaning of Christmas.

“Coming home defeated every time, but every time I tell them we still have each other. We still have Christmas. No one’s dead. Yeah, I know my job’s gone,” he said.

As soon as the truck is up and running, Mower said he will be able to return to work.