Tuesday, December 13, 2011

trim a tree

We have had the same lame Christmas tree since the year Jed and I were married (purchased from Kmart for 10 bucks).  We call him Charlie Brown.  I despise him.  Every time that this season comes around, I despise putting him up.  Charlie Brown is short, bare, and thinning.  Sure we have tried to dress him up a bit with new additions.  But, our (my) efforts have barely merited. Mostly, I despise stringing the lights.  The ornaments, although nothing to brag about, don't bother me.  I refuse to purchase anything too fancy  (I am cheap and a realist).  I have little kids who love to play with the tree.  I remember loving to play in my parents tree.  Moving around my favorite ornaments, playing with the miniature nativity sets among the branches, bringing my favorite toys to have adventures at it's base.  I want my children to be able to enjoy their tree as I did.  So I let them play, to some degree, among it's branches.  But that still doesnt' make me love Charlie.

Every year Jed hears my complaints about having to put up the tree.  He is not a holiday loving type of person.  Well, he likes the holidays, just not all of the chaos surrounding them.  He hates shopping for gifts (at least that is what he says), he despises crowds (I don't blame him), he cringes with the thought of going to parties with our children in tow (mainly because he can't enjoy himself because he feels he has to worry about what they are getting into, every parents nightmare), he thinks Christmas lights on homes and buildings are a waste of energy and effort (although I know that he really appreciates a good light job when he sees one), but mostly he dislikes the commercialism surrounding this season (I very much agree with him on this point).  You often here him proclaiming in October, "Merryhallowthanksgiving!!!" or "Happyhallowthankschristmas!!!"

With that said, in a nut shell,  the tree trimming is left up to me. 
So every year I complain, Jed refuses to help put up the tree, the kids pester us to get the job done, I complain some more, Jed goes down to the shop, and I put up Charlie in anger.  And likewise every year, Jed sarcastically says "why don't you go tree shopping at one of these amazing sales?"  Because he knows that I despise holiday shopping (to a small extent), crowds, and purchasing big ticket items that I only enjoy for one month of the year (there is always something that we come up with to replace a Christmas tree budget). Not to mention I  am not a settler.  I am more than willing to wait things out until I find the perfect tree, the perfect price, with very little effort involved (meaning you won't see me at a black Friday or day after Christmas sale). 

Well, this year, my mom came up with a better plan to aid in not having to put up Charlie.  My Aunt Mary is trying to clean out her basement and minimalize her home.  So, she offered us her tree.

It is still not prelit, not quite tall enough, and not narrow enough (to sum it up it isn't the tree that I would love).  But, it is definitely better than Charlie.

So, for four days, the new tree sat bare in our living room waiting for the annual festivites to occur.  The kids begin to beg to decorate, mom sets a date so they stop begging, mom gets ill that day, the kids beg, mom says wait until dad gets home, dad gets home, the kids beg, dad tells them to wait until the next day because "mom will feel bad if she can't help" (but really we know mom would love dad to take on the efforts, and that dad does not want to do it at all).  And inevitably the next day, mom puts up the tree with the kids and no dad. 

And what happens a few days later?  Dad asks mom to come put up Charlie at his office to make it look more festive.  Oh, and surprisingly dad did put the lights up this time.  Probably because everyone, including mom, was teasing him about being a Scrooge at Christmas time.  That, and Lily screamed every time mom tried to put her down.

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