Monday, November 21, 2011

Early Christmas "Cheer"

On Saturday we got our Christmas tree. (We bought a tree early because it was a fundraising event for a crisis pregnancy center.) The tree was supposed to be 6 ft. tall. I would’ve been happy with a 5 ft. tree, but with ten foot looks kind of dumb. So we ordered the 6 ft. tree. They must’ve run out of 6 ft. trees. This tree is at least 9 feet tall, maybe more. It takes up half our living room. Okay, a quarter. And it didn’t fit into our old tree stand. So we bought a new tree stand. Old stand was easy to fill with water, new stand is not. New stand was created by an engineer who was a Grinch and he’s laughing all the way to the bank. With new stand, you can’t tell how much water is in the stand because the stand is so deep. It should have come with a dipstick. Instead, you fill up the stand and water drips out the screw holes—there are eight screw holes. I’ve tried sticking my hand into the tree stand and feeling where the water is, but the girth of the tree forbids access. Not to mention that it’s just too deep—my hands are long and skinny, so if I can’t get my hands in there, no one is. So I mop up the dripping water every fifteen minutes.

Of course, the tree itself is gorgeous. It looks like something out of a movie set—full, perfectly balanced. (It’s leaning a bit, but that’s because we’re a bit frustrated with the stand and the eight adjustable screws.) Eventually, the tree will be fixed. We have too many “picture straighteners” living in our home for the tree to stay tilted.

The other problem with the tree is that Luke started sneezing when we brought it home. He’s kind of been sneezing non-stop since Saturday. Yesterday when he was playing piano he was rubbing his eyes between verses. But before you say tree allergy, I don’t think it’s the tree. Luke doesn’t have pollen allergies. He’s allergic to molds. I’m sure the tree is covered with molds (most trees are). This means that today I get to spray the tree down with Lysol. I wonder if they make Christmas tree scented Lysol.

The tree is still undecorated. I am not an eager decorator. It’s even worse because there’s no way we have enough lights, garland, balls to cover a tree of this magnitude. Even if we don’t decorate the back side.

I’m beginning to think that maybe I’ll drop the hint that we should skip the tree thing next year. But then I’d be known as a Grinch for the rest of my natural life.

Child 1: “Do you remember back in 2012 when Mom didn’t want to put up a tree?”

Child 2: “Sad, really. She’d been such a nice mother up to that point.”

Child 3: “Though there was the time when she made us scrub the sidewalk...”

But that’s another story.


  1. We had many, many years growing up where we didn't get a tree until Christmas Eve, because Mom spent the entire month of December trying to convince us to do without a tree this year, and only capitulated at the last minute. Then there was the year that we had to make do with our miniature artificial tree ...

    If I had a 9' tree I would probably cry at the thought of decorating it. I get exhausted halfway through a 5' tree, and try to sneak off and leave my husband to do the rest.

  2. E Louise,
    Thankfully, I don't really do the decorating anymore. Chemistry major son carries all the heavy boxes. Electrical Engineering major son does the lights. Math major daughter does the ornaments--achieving the perfect balance of form and color. Youngest son makes hot cider with spices and slices of lemon. Hubby and I sit back on the couch and listen to music--at least, until it's time to vacuum.

  3. What about a fake tree? Maybe buy one after Christmas this year so you have it for next year? My husband has bad memories from when he was a teenager and he had to help find "the perfect" tree. He is no traumatized and refuses to get a real tree. So after realizing this the one year I actually got him to go with me to get a real tree.....and we ended up with a stain on the carpet and allergies from the tree. I then bought a fake tree on clearance after Christmas. Works great. :)

  4. My uncle taught his kids that Santa brought the tree. Then he would go out after midnight on Christmas eve and find a lot where the attendant had finally gone home to be with family, and he would help himself to the biggest tree left on the lot. I don't know who did the decorating, but I'm sure it was NOT my uncle. He was a bit lazy as well as questionable in ethics, and therefore will remain nameless here.

  5. Hehehe sounds beautiful! I hope you post pictures once it's decorated and straightened. :-)

  6. LOL, well I hope we get to see a pic of this glorious, gigantic tree soon!

    We have a fake tree that I've had since I was a kid. Most years now, my dad refuses to pull it out of storage because he says he's always the one that has to air it out and set it up and then take it down and store it. This is mostly true, but my sister and I do all the decorating! And it's only once year!

    So we haven't had a tree for the past few years. It's not that big a deal, but it does seem more festive with one.

  7. Haha. I am actually a tree minimalist. I like a nice green tree, some white lights and a handful of pretty ornaments.

  8. We always used to make a big deal out of the whole family going to a tree farm together to pick out and chop down the perfect tree. When our nest emptied, my hubby and I bought a fake tree. But ever since we brought home two little kitties two years ago, we've gone to another extreme. We have a cut-out cardboard tree, painted green. It has twinkle lights and bubble lights on it, and a star on top. Not the best tree in the world, but it sure is easy, (we store it with the lights still on it!)and we don't have to worry about our two rambunctious cats climbing the tree, breaking my 60+ year-old ornaments, or eating the tinsel.

  9. When we lived in Denver with very low humidity, our trees would almost be bare of needles the first day they were up. A lot of houses burnt Mom & Dad bought us a fake tree, but it was a beautiful one. Visitors always felt it...they didn't believe it was fake.

    After about 40 years of use, the branches were kind of wobbly, so we bought a new fake. It's also beautiful and is prewired with over 1000 lights. The part I job because I'm unfolding and "fluffing" all the branches. It takes me almost a full day. Another couple of days for the hundreds of ornaments...then we begin on all the outside (Wayne) and other inside trimmings (me).

    If we won a fortune, we'd build a sealed room to keep the tree set-up and dust-free, then roll up the wall at Christmas and have it all ready to go :>) Wishful thinking...