Thursday, December 04, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

We put up the christmas tree last weekend and it really is a nice tree. We bought it last year at a newly opened dept. store and it was the only one left so the guys at the store had to take apart the display tree to box it for us. We hauled it up the mountain only to take it down a few weeks later and move it back down the mountain. Its a nice tree and sets up well- for this I'm thankful but it always leaves me wanting.

When I was a kid we always had real trees. My mom loves christmas trees. We would go the first week of November to the christmas tree farm to pick out the perfect tree for us. My mom is less than lofty and so the perfect tree for us really was less than 5 feet. Of course the problem being when you pick the less than 5 ft. tree the first of November, that tree has grown what seems like 2 feet by the 1st of December and now we have a story kids. The nice young man would go out and cut down our tree for us in seconds and drag it around to the parking area. They'd shake it and wrap and slide it very easily into the car. We'd drink cider and smell trees and vaguely worry, just a little, that the tree seems a little taller and its pretty big around. Truth is the tree was way to tall for us, was twice as wide as it was tall and bound to have the crookedest stump you'd ever see. So when it came to getting the tree in the house its my mom, my older sister and I. Yeah, you're seeing it now. It was impossible to get out of the trunk and a brawl to get in the front door. The tree's crooked stump now takes over as my mom shimmies under the tree to screw in the bolts to hold the tree in the stand- which isn't really possible to do and have the tree stand straight because you can't screw bolts in evenly on an S curve. So then we all sigh. Mom manages to get the bolts in the tree, shimmies out, and the tree does a slow tip towards the ground. We catch the tree, mom shimmies under and re-works the bolts. This happens a few times and mom decides we need to take off a few branches. So the tree goes back outside (a full body fight ensues between girls and tree) and small women work on cutting off branches and "straightening the trunk", tree goes back inside with just a little swearing. Mom shimmies under and bolts tree. Tree falls over. Mom calls the pastor from our church- divine intervention is now necessary. Pastor Dave comes over and works the tree over, giggling only a little at the girth of the tree these small women have picked out. Tree falls over for Pastor Dave. but being a man he is undaunted. I really do remember tying the tree up that year but I may be wrong. Dave worked it over quite a bit, lots of "straightening" went on after Dave got hold of the tree but the tree stood.

Here is what I took away from putting up christmas trees as a child:
- buy the tree that is kind of your height- rounding up, of course.
- have goofy high hopes about the ease with which that tree will go into your house and the space you have allotted.
- putting up the christmas tree requires just a bit of swearing (I'm going to get in trouble for that but in truth my mom wasn't prone to swearing until putting up the tree).
- the lights won't work after you put them on the tree so plan on putting more on but the dead ones may spontaneously rejuvenate but don't count on it.
- put on that "Messiah" Cantata from the Gaither Vocal Band- its wonderful! Christmas isn't christmas without one of the Gaithers being Herod.
- Live christmas trees with white lights are painfully beautiful and bring peace to the home.
- No matter how much fighting and exhaustion goes into putting up the christmas tree you still have very fond memories of it and it always makes you laugh and you will do it again next year.
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