Tuesday, December 4, 2012

the tree

My kind, wonderful, thoughtful friend and her family chopped down a tree in Idaho and delivered it to my house two Sundays ago. They've been chopping down Christmas trees for my family ever since Danny was a wee babe. I had told this lovely friend I didn't need a tree since Danny was just tiny and he wouldn't care (and also because I had a wee babe and was completely overwhelmed with life and decorating a Christmas tree would probably send me over the edge, never to be seen again). She knew we needed a tree so she delivered.

Maybe I should add here that in all our married life up until Danny's birth (which consisted of 8 Christmases) we never had a Christmas tree. I didn't want one and Dan didn't seem to mind. We spent our childless holiday seasons traveling to far away lands (Florida, Alabama, California, Vermont). I pretty much figured Christmas trees are for helping the season be magical and amazing and glorious for the kids (because of the whole Santa leaving presents there thing) and since we were childless (and since the thought of having to decorate a tree and what if it's not perfect! created amazing levels of anxiety in my soul) we skipped the tree. I'm a real nut case. I realize that now after typing all this. I think I've done an outstanding job of chilling out about the imperfect state of my tree now though. I'm patting myself on the back over here.

Back to the story...

This year's tree sat on the front porch for a day. Then it stood green and bare in the tree stand for another day (super crooked too since there's a big branch at the bottom I can't lop off or else there will be a huge bald spot). I think I got up enough courage to start putting the lights on the next day. I got halfway. That brought us to Thursday. I finished the rest of the lights (it took me all day due to the starting and stopping because of needy little kids). Friday morning those needy little kids were excited to get those ornaments on the tree. They didn't even let me shower first. Sheesh.

I let them help because I'm awesome and I'm trying my darnedest to create happy little childhood memories. Cate learned what the word fragile means. She hung most of the ornaments at the very tippy edge of the branches. Every so often she'd take a step back and say oh, look how beautiful or isn't it lovely, mommy? Cute.

Saturday night I sat on the couch watching Elf with my Daniels and looking at my unlit tree. It wouldn't work. I plugged it in that morning and the lights came on. I went about my duties in the kitchen and when I returned, the lights were off. Still plugged into the wall but off anyway. 

I did my best to not cry. I consider it a great accomplishment to get all the lights on just so. I'm pretty good at it but those darn things stress me out. Big time. I figured out that the very first strand of lights at the bottom had died. Hallelujah that it wasn't one of the middle ones because there's no way I was going to unwind all that and start over. I can live with a few unlit bottom branches. Look how much I've improved.

And now I stay awake way too late at night so I can sit in my glowing front room and stare at the tree in peace and quiet.

It's my favorite.


Jaymerz said...

We have been married for 10 years and have only had 5 trees. We spent 5 years traveling 16 hours so we never put one up. This year I got my own tree and one for the kids and I sit there and just stare at them both. I LOVE it!!
PS I love those ornaments, so fun!!

Marisa said...

I'm so glad you shared this with us.

I can't imagine not having a tree. The closest we came was the year I was pregnant with Haley. We were living in Texas and I was allergic to the stuff they spray on the trees to preserve them on their journey from Oregon. We bought a fake tree, but not the green bristly kind, because we knew it was going to be temporary. We bought a white metal tree-shaped yard decoration with lights and decorated it. It was truly an abomination, but hey, no sneezing!

Connie said...

So funny how when you don't have kids the tree isn't as important.