In a world with some very serious debates going on—gun control, immunizations, blue/black or white/gold dress—one has been at the top of my mind this past week.
To real Christmas tree, or not to real Christmas tree.
Growing up, we always had a fake tree, it was just the way it was and it worked. When I met a beautiful Jewish boy who had never tracked Santa Claus' Christmas Eve journey or made himself sick on egg nog and cookie sprinkles, he loved the idea of getting a real tree. Who was I to argue? Whatever would spark the Christmas elf in my Jew.
Here's a history of our relationship by Christmas tree:
Year 1 - Tiny Rosemary Tree. It's important to not overwhelm your Jew by introducing too much at first. The lovely pine smell of a real Christmas tree would have simply been sensory overload.
Year 2 - I like to imagine that we got this looker of a tree from one of those farms where firefighters sell the trees they had to chop down to help prevent forest fires, so you don't feel bad when your tree looks...well, like this...because at least you prevented a forest fire. Alas, I don't think that was the case. Can I somehow blame the Christmas mishap on being hugely pregnant?
Year 3 - I have no recollection of anything Christmas-tree related this year, but here's a picture of some adorable baby goats.
Year 4 - This is where it starts to get good. Because this happened
Year 5 - We really hit our stride. Not only did we drive up the mountains A la Clark Griswold to cut down our own tree...
...but we also captured the joy that is ugly Christmas sweaters in front of the tree! Year 5 was operation "fully immerse Bill into Christmas" year.
We really have a thing for being pregnant around a Christmas tree...I don't know...
Year 6 - After going so big the year before, we calmed things down a bit and just got our tree at our local grocery store. And then didn't take any pictures of it. They called us Mellow Yellow.
Year 7, aka, yesterday - I've been shamelessly eavesdropping on conversations lately about Christmas Tree Conversion. People who once swore by real Christmas trees have taken the plunge to go fake and now can't imagine their life before. Sort of similar to when I eavesdrop on conversations about boob jobs, but that's a post for another day.
I brought the topic up with Bill, who listened intently, like the great husband he is, and then reminded me that the magic of Christmas for him is picking out a real tree. So, we went to our local hardware store (because yes, they sell Christmas trees.) (Because yes, it's better than your local hardware store.) (McGuckins, you can make a check directly out to me for the shout out, thanks.) Only, McGuckins is a little bit too cool and their tree selection is absurd. It felt like I was on a game show where nobody prepped me for the questions:
- Which varietal tree is your favorite?
- What size do you want?
- Snow frosted?
- Who was the only James Bond to kiss less than eight hundred women in a single movie (trick question, none of them)
Some people get meat sweats. I get shopping sweats. When there's an overwhelming amount of options in a purchasing situation, I lock up.
I panicked and pointed to the first one I saw, then ran into a corner to rock myself back into sanity. I left my husband to make the call. He went with the one I pointed at, coaxed me out of my corner, and we merrily went on our way to set up our tree.
His first comment on the way home was about how nice it was that the kind people of McGuckins shaved down the bottom of the tree for us so he didn't have to pull out his chainsaw (re: Year 5.) Mere minutes later, we realized that the base of this tree didn't fit in the trusty little stand we've used WITH NO PROBLEM for the past six years. Out came the chainsaw to shave it down even more.
Next came the twisting of the little screws into the tree trunk. Six years of happily twisting those guys in WITH NO PROBLEM. Year seven...they refused to hold up the tree. Our poor kids sat patiently watching, ornaments at the ready in their eager little hands. I stood holding up the top of the tree while Bill was crouched below, trying to get it to stand upright; both of us completely covered in sap and pine needles. On the plus side, the pine needles smelled delightful. An hour and a half later, our tree was (sort-of) secure and (sort-of) straight. We decorated the hell out of it like ravenous fish attacking smaller, less ravenous fish (I just watched Animal Planet the Ocean, don't judge.)
But hey, look! It all turned out okay. Beautiful, no? At least it was until somebody brushed gently against it and the whole thing went tumbling over, shattering ornaments and shooting pine needles out in every direction.
At least we've got our trusty Christmas gondola to fall back on in case of tree disaster (also a McGuckins purchase. I told you our hardware store is cooler than yours.)
Year 8 - We're going fake.
Like what you see? Check out my quirky memoir about finding your path in life.
I'D RATHER WEAR PAJAMAS