Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Christmas Tree Wrangling and other Adventures
This week for Jingle Bell Rockin' I'll be giving away a $5 Starbucks gift card and a deck of Ellora's Cave playing cards. Please leave a comment for a chance to win. Natalie will announce all the winners on Friday!
Most of my Christmas memories involve crazy mishaps and often a Christmas Tree is part of the equation. I'll never forget the first Christmas tree my honey and I put up. We'd been married for several years before we broke down and did the whole tree-trimming thing. Our son was nine months old and we decided, like many brand new parents, to go crazy for Christmas. It was our first Christmas with the little guy and even though he'd have no memory of it, we were determined to do it up right.
We bought a live tree, did the whole prepping thing, soaked the end in a big bucket of water and I got all the decorations on it. I thought it was beautiful. Big. Yes, we overdid it in that arena too. Most of my friends will tell you that I overdo EVERYTHING. I double recipes when I don't need to. I buy two of everything at the grocery store. I've often wondered if there's a pill for that. Anyway, we bought a HUGE tree and I decorated to the max. Some ornaments were gifts from my mom but most I'd shopped for. Stuff for the perfect KID Christmas tree. So the tree is up. Lights are strung. Our little house looked lovely. At least I thought so.
One afternoon, I was sitting in my living room and Ben was crawling around in the mountains of laundry I was folding while I watched my favorite Soap. At one point, I took a break from my chore, picked up my little guy and held him on my knee while I got lost in the action on the tv. Suddenly, I hear a slight whishing sound and watched in stunned silence as the tree began to shift. It was such an odd moment. Kind of like slo-mo or something. I just sat there like a dumbass as the tree started to go down. I didn't move a muscle but said quietly...well, baby, there it goes.
The tree fell in a sweep of sound. Everything crashed and rolled. Water was freakin' EVERYWHERE along with pine needles, bark and various other crap. My walls were splashed, my carpet soaked. I managed to wrangle the tree back into place with lots of huffing and puffing, while fighting back my son who wanted to 'play'. What a freakin' mess! The damn tree was bigger than I was. By the time my honey got home, I was a frazzled basket case.
Years later, we went the artificial route with our trees. While both kids were still at home, I had one set up in the living room. It was my habit in those days to stay up late and read while the place was quiet. I loved that. One night, I sat at the kitchen table reading a Sandra Brown book. I don't remember the title of it but I was so lost in the story that when I looked up, I noted the time. Three AM. I decided to hit the sack, closed the book, turned off the light and staggered through the darkened house in search of my bed and in doing so, walked right into the Christmas tree. It was like being attacked by an eight foot monster. The tree fell on top of me, ornaments crashed to the floor and shattered loudly. Lights came on as everyone rushed from their rooms to see what the hell Mom had done NOW.
Yep. Christmas Trees and I have a history. Once they are up, I love them. Love looking at them and watching the lights shine on the ornaments. It's the putting them up and taking them down that turns into a nightmare. Years ago, my husband and son, realizing that I frazzle easily, adopted the tradition of taking pics of me as I decorate. My honey gets a particular kick out of taking shots of my ass and I'm arranging this or that. Oddly, my daughter and I were looking through photo albums some time ago. I needed to find a decent pic of myself for something or other and my daughter goes...Mom? Why is there nothing but pictures of your butt in here? Aw, what can I say? The men in my life live to torment me.
I decided long ago that I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas Trees. Think I'll start simply getting a nice poinsettia and call it a day!