Your Christmas tree is stored in your neighbor’s garage, fully decorated and wrapped in Saran Wrap.
I’m not necessarily a Jeff Foxworthy fan, but as we carried our Christmas tree out of our neighbor’s garage, down the rickety wooden stairs, fully assembled and decorated and wrapped in plastic, all I could think of was his famous line.
I’ve always been a “real” tree snob. My mom has always gone way out on Christmas, with trees in more than one room. And until the last year or two, they were usually real trees. I loved Christmas as a kid. In fact, even now I still like Christmas at her house better than at mine.
I’ve tried to carry on the tradition, by having a real tree no matter how poor we were or how small our apartment. We’ve had a few of the countertop-height trees, and lots of trees that would make Charlie Brown proud. But it’s gotten harder the past few years, as my husband has worked later and I couldn’t wait, and have had to get it home and in the house alone with only Jasper to help.
So, last year when Steve and I had to go to a festival of trees to support his client, we eyed a really great, sort of Whoville looking tree going for very cheap. We figured we couldn’t normally buy an undecorated fake tree for that price, and this one came with fun decorations, and the money went to a good cause. (Even though we’ve always been the eclectic-homemade and souvenir ornament type, I thought this might add a bit of class to our Christmas.) Also, this tree was decorated by the kids from a special needs school. Ever since Charles was born, we’ve been softies for any of the services that we know would have been critical to us had he lived. So, we bought it. It was a breeze! It was delivered right to our living room, and we had instant Christmas.
Problem was, when I went to clean up after Christmas, I discovered that all the ornaments were meticulously wired to the tree. Well. I was way too tired from Christmas to un-wire all those ornaments. Seemed like a cinch to me to ask the neighbors to store the tree as-is in their oversized barn garage. It wasn’t until we went to retrieve it this year that I felt pretty ridiculous.
So, a couple weeks ago I decided we better go buy a real tree, at least a small one, to go with it. It was under 20 degrees that night, but Saffron wouldn’t put on her coat. “Me no cold,” she insisted. Whatever, I thought. I don’t feel like arguing. When we got to the tree lot and hopped out of the car, it was frigid. Saffron was horrified by the cold—in tears. I kept telling her to wait in the car, but she was determined not to miss her first Christmas-tree shopping—whatever that was. Needless to say, we VERY QUICKLY picked out the most bent, Charlie Brown-looking, waist-high tree we could find. Perfect for us! We then ran across the street to the local greasy spoon for some good ol’ footlong hot dogs. As soon as the food was ordered, I left Steve with the kids and hid in the bathroom to read BigBahamaMama—my favorite wacky friend’s blog.
Steve then left to go back to work, and the kids and I went home to decorate. The tree was so light I carried it in and set it up all by myself, in front of Whoville. Let Christmas begin!
Slick. Now that’s my kind of tree shopping. Merry Christmas from Cindy Lou Who.