Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh Come All Ye Failful

In years past my family and I would make the short jaunt to a tree farm and cut down our own Christmas tree. It was a fun outing, usually consisting of tromping around the farm, looking for the absolute oddest tree we could find. We have no use for your standard, normal-looking tree. We always want a tree that screams character. Past examples include "The Tree That Wanted to Hug" and "The Leaning Tree of Christmas".

But, as of last year, the tree farm has been closed. So we've made do with going to get a tree at a nearby grocery store. They usually have 10-15 trees, sitting on spikes near the front doors. Last year I was wary about this--we have horrible luck with trees from lots. They tend to end up dried out after a couple of days.. So last year's tree was "The Leaning Tree of Christmas". It was awesome. It grew so crooked that, even when it was straight in its base, it was leaning at a hideous angle. I had to use barbell weights to balance the tree stand (about the only reason I've lifted barbell weights in the past year). The tree also stayed green for weeks. Win!

This year, we got a tree from the same place. I took G with me (as I did last year) and let her pick it out. All of the trees were fairly normal and uniform--about 6' tall with that standard Christmas Tree shape.

Except one.

"That one!" she said and pointed to a ginormous, 9 1/2-foot tree. Seriously. It was nearly 10 stinking feet! Of course, I totally knew she was going to pick it. As a child, we almost always tend to pick the biggest thing out of any bunch. So, satisfied that it was as freaky as we were going to get, I paid for it, crammed it in the van and returned home. I sawed off about a foot of the base, we decorated it, and all was right with the world.

Until K and I awoke to a rather sickening crash coming from the living room. Now, during our first Christmas together, my cat was the instigator behind the first ever Christmas Tree Fail (it's difficult to look innocent when the tree falls and you are seen zooming away from the scene). I thought he'd learned his lesson but he is a suspect in the latest fiasco. But that's neither here nor there. The fact remains that our behemoth tree lay, sleeping, on the floor at 3 am.

With tired eyes, we righted the tree (and used the barbell weights again--they're so handy for everything except actual exercise!). I put some of the decorations back, refilled it with water, and went back to bed. Only one ornament was actually broken--the one ornament that meant the most and can't be replaced.

Of course, now, the tree is turning brown faster than...anything else that turns brown quickly? We'll keep it up through Christmas but probably pitch it to the curb as soon as it's all over. I really think the tree itself just didn't want to go home with us and it's been protesting.

Strength of the world is on my shoulders

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