Sunday, November 4, 2007

O Christmas Tree

With the thought that the next couple of weeks leading up to Thanksgiving will quickly be over, it occurred to me that we do not have a normal sized (artificial) Christmas tree for our new house. After a stroll down holiday lane in the local craft store it became pretty obvious that we would have to rob a bank in order to buy one brand spankin’ new. Evidently my husband was already on task because he came home from work on Saturday, the same day of my excursion to the craft store, with a tree. He found it at the Goodwill for a mere $25. This was a considerable deal what with the going rate of artificial trees. A comparable fir would have set us back somewhere in the ballpark of $199.

Informed that we needed to make sure all of the pieces were accounted for, we set to work assembling our new treasure. We fluffed and we set and we straightened branches. As the Douglas fir grew before our eyes I quickly became aware that this wonderful tree would not fit into the wonderful-tree-designated-area. How wide is this tree? I asked my husband. Five and a half feet, came his reply. Sure, that’ll fit into a space three feet wide.

The poor man was so excited about finally being able to celebrate Christmas with a seven foot tree instead of the three foot tree that we’ve been decorating since we got married five years ago that I really tried to maintain my Christmas cheer through the whole ordeal (I think someone needs to sing a Christmas carol). I really couldn’t say how many branches I stuck into that tree; neither can I begin to account for the number of times the fir stuck me; nor can I remember how many times I told my son that, no, he could not climb the tree. But, suddenly, there it was, towering over the whole living room like a jolly green giant. A guest entering the house through the front door would think they had stumbled into Narnia with the way the tree loomed over and in front of the entryway.

My husband insisted, and rightly so, that it would be asinine to take the tree down just to put it up again in three weeks. (The tradition in the family is to put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving). I’m not claustrophobic, but I just knew that I couldn’t live in my shrunken living space for two whole months with the limbs hugging the light from the windows. So, I came up with a plan: we needed to prune the monster and coax it peacefully into the corner designated to be its residence. I set to work removing a branch here and there from the mechanism as my husband half slid, half squashed the tree into submission in the corner.

It worked. From one angle it appears as though some thing took a rather large bite out of the boughs, but from another it simply look as if it is growing around the couch. We had to temporarily relocate some of the kid’s toys and it’s nearly impossible to close the curtains properly, but I’m sure we are the first people on the street and maybe in the whole city to put up a Christmas tree.

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