We finally put the Christmas tree up. It’s not my favorite thing to do. Everyone begs for weeks to put it up, but within 30 minutes, everyone’s arms start to hurt and I get stuck with finishing it off.
This year we promised the kids a super big tree, because we had to temper our holiday spirit last year. Last Christmas we were in the middle of selling our house and in order to keep our cozy bungalow from feeling like an episode of Hoarders, our tree was of the Charlie Brown variety. In fact, Isaac broke down in tears at the tree lot because he didn’t think Santa would be able to find it.
It wasn’t that small.
Our plan worked, because Christmas Eve, we signed an offer. And with it the promises we would no longer have small trees that Santa can’t find.
Saturday it was time to buy our first tree for the new house. Time to make some Christmas memories. Bundling up, we traversed through the asphalt streets of Cleveland Heights to find the perfect tree. (Boy am I glad we didn’t attempt to go cut one down ourselves) Trundling through the rows, the kids pointed at every tree, but never at the same one. Michael would hold out trees, trying to speed along the process, but he was always denied.
The sun bursts out of the clouds and falls on THE tree. All the kids agreed. It was tall, it was full, and it would look awesome next to the fireplace. The only problem?
“Eh, I don’t think that will fit our ceilings.” Michael said.
Little clouds of smoke puff out of the kids mouths, and my fingers are solid blocks in my gloves. ”Nah, that will fit just fine.” The ceilings stretched in my mind to the heights we needed them to be, instead of reality. The kids all liked it, I liked it, let’s call it a day. Who cares if his spatial recognition is lightyears beyond mine.
Looking at the tree, Michael’s mouth hangs open, and then he shrugs, “Yeah, I’m sure it’s fine.”
The tree sounds like nails on a chalkboard as we pull out of the lot driving the 1 mile back to our house. Sometimes I love living in the city. Excitedly, we shoved it in through the front door and attempted to put it in the tree stand.
It’s too wide for the tree stand.
It’s too tall for the ceiling.
And in National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation style, Michael says, “Eh, we can take a little off the bottom and buy a new tree stand.”
Running to Target, then Home Depot, the 10 minute trip turns into an hour. Requires 2 phone calls home, and 3 angry kids shouting, “WE WANT THE TREE, WE WANT THE TREE!”
Michael saves the day with the tree stand. Margo was about to revolt. He starts sawing off the bottom. Stands it up. Saws some more. And some more. And some more. The pile of branches beside him grow, and our ten foot tree shrinks.
All ready to go, he slides the tree into the new stand. Viola, we now have the 8 foot tree Michael suggested in the lot. He looks at me and says, what a lovely 10 foot tree.
Then I lovingly tapped him in the stomach.
The kids don’t care, they’re ready to decorate. But the needles dripped from the melting snow and we can’t quite string the lights yet, or it might be an electrifying Christmas to remember. After the whining subsides, and we promise hot chocolate and a fire tomorrow, they agree to put off decorating another day.
But that’s another story.