Thursday, December 5, 2013

No. That's Not Right

The little kid in me will always want a REAL, fresh Christmas tree.  To me that smell IS Christmas.  I know, I know.  But I think of it as helping a small business owner, who is planting a tree for every one which is sold.  Besides, living near a lake system, here old trees are sunk in the lake after Christmas to serve as beds for fish, giving the fry a place to grow and hide until they're big enough to go out on their own. 

Traditionally, Hubby and I get a tree together but this year, tradition got scrambled by schedules...and a failed attempt to locate one this past Sunday.  So Hubby suggested a five to six foot tree, no bigger, and I found one at lunch.  Granted, it didn't feel very Christmasy because the weather has suddenly turned exceptionally warm when a week ago it was below freezing at night.  There's something very wrong about perspiring while selecting a Christmas tree.

I can only imagine the picture I made, all 5' 1" of me trying to one hand a tree a foot taller than me by holding it out at arm's length to check for symmetry and the knowledge that limbs will unfold to look natural, not one sided.  At least the "excessive needles falling" check was easier; grab and shake.  With the tree about 2 feet from my face, it LOOKED fine to me. So the tree and I tangoed to the register...which, of course, was as far away from the trees as possible. Carry two, three, four and rest two, three, four.  I'm sure we entertained anyone in sight.

At the register the young cashier looked at the tree and shook her head. "Nope, I need a tree bigger than that!" she huffed.  "Least 7-9 feet."  

I kindly explained that by the time you put the tree in the stand and added the topper, my tree would be close to 7 feet.  She agreed that hadn't crossed her mind.  So the tree was bagged in netting and a very nice man, realizing I was on a solo mission, told me to bring the car around and he'd load it.  Ah, mission accomplished!

When I drove in, Hubby was coming around the corner of the house and not seeing a tree tied to the roof, thought I had failed the mission.  He looked skeptical when I told him it was INSIDE my Jeep Patriot, as I reminded him of his 5-6 foot requirement.  I'd measured beforehand and knew I could get a 6 foot tree inside.  Just barely.  He opened the back and seemed pleased.  I went inside to do the annual rearranging of the furniture...which amounts to moving a rocking chair into an adjoining room to free up the "Christmas Tree Corner."

Task completed, I went on the front porch.  Hubby had finished the requisite trimming of the bottom of the tree, so I helped tighten down the bolts holding it in the stand...yet another Elf service rendered by those born low to the ground.  Hubby stood it up and claimed it was just the right size. 

Taking a step back I thought, "Good grief, I bought a Charlie Brown tree!"

Actually, it's a perfect little tree, with emphasis on little.  Sure it fit perfectly in the corner and I know when we decorate it tonight I will be pleased.  But in that moment, on the warm front porch with no evening breeze and mosquitoes buzzing in my ears, I felt a twinge of grumpy Grinch.  

One of the good things about being married to someone for a long time is they know what you're thinking without you opening your mouth.  I was feeling rather dejected about my choice.  It's autumn and I was hot.  There were stupid mosquitoes running around in December!  And worst of all, it didn't feel like Christmas.  My confession?  I am not an adult this time of year, I'm a kid at heart.  Not even an overgrown kid. An elf sized one who doesn't try to peek into packages but awaits Christmas with all the wonder and awe of a six year old.  And if that ever stops, plant me in the ground.

Hubby was in the kitchen cooking when I walked in.  He hugged me as I muttered with a sigh, "I bought a Charlie Brown tree".  Laughing, he said he liked it and it really was the perfect little tree.  I stated in no uncertain terms that I was never, ever going solo tree hunting again. I got another hug. The combination of his understanding and reassuring hug might've been the best way to bring my Christmas spirit back to life. A perfect gift.

Then again, smashing that mosquito which followed us into the house might've helped.   :)


Ponita in Real Life said...

I love real Christmas trees! I have many fond memories of us kids going with my dad to the countryside to find one and cut it down to bring home. Here along the hydro lines (which are gov't property) you can do that legally.

You have mosquitoes in December??? I'm glad I don't live where they exist year round. I would be coated in DEET for the rest of my life. :-\

Chef Files said...

What a perfectly wonderful Christmas tale my dear Hope. Told with pathos and a dash or two of cinnamon. Superb!

hope said...

Ponita: Although we didn't get to cut one down, I remember Dad loading all of us into the family station wagon, going down to the tree lot and everyone racing for their favorite tree...which of course, was never the same. :) But it was cold, we giggled and the "perfect" tree was always found. And sadly, the mosquitoes are still running rampant, the "gift" of a wet spring/summer after 3 years of drought like weather. I'm the only person in the country praying for this weekend's cold front to get here earlier! ;)

Chef: glad to entertain you. I figure if you can't laugh at life's curveballs, why bother. ;)

maurcheen said...

A perfect couple! :¬)


savannah said...

great christmas tale, sister hope! i love the smell and look of real trees all decorated and lit! i am envious! xoxoxo

Kim Ayres said...

Several years ago we were in a place where it was just too impractical to have a real tree, so we bought an artificial one. Last year it died, so this year I think it's going to be a real one. Looking forward to the smell...