December 8, 2010

Christmas 2010: Take Two

We've had our Christmas tree for about 18 years. Artificial trees suit me well because their size never changes, they don't drop needles, and set up and take down can be accomplished rather quickly and at my leisure.

We didn't always take the fake route though. We gave nature a good college try at first. In fact it was our first Christmas together that taught me my eyes were bigger than our home. Jimmy and I picked out a tree so big that by the time we got it home and in place, it looked as if we'd slain Goliath and brought him home for the holidays. Not only was the tree way too big for our narrow town home, but the tree farm failed to shake it before we took it away. We didn't understand the importance of this vital holiday step, so we brought it home in ignorant but temporary bliss. Within a week it began to unloaded more needles than our vacuum could handle, prompting us to recruit a wire coat hanger to coax one obstruction out after another. Why that tree farm didn't shake our tree before we took it home I'll never know.

After having our no-needle-dropping fake tree for nearly two decades, I feel as though I could put the thing up in my sleep, which is exactly what it looked like I did a week ago. So lackadaisical in the set up, it wasn't until I was done decorating that I noticed something was wrong. Easing my hands atop my hips, I squinted at the tree and said,"Somehow she doesn't look right but I'm not sure what it is." Jimmy agreed but couldn't put his finger on the problem either.

Pulling into the driveway the next evening her pretty lights in the living room window caught my eye. I felt hope grow in my heart thinking she'd for sure make it through the holidays with whatever problem that was ailing her. Then I saw another fateful flaw. She was was leaning like a midwest Tower of Pisa. What more could go wrong wrong with this tree? After closer inspection we discovered I'd done a lot of things wrong. Seems I'd placed her long lower limbs in the middle and shorter limbs below, skimped on the lighting, and propped her up lopsided. She had become a Charlie Brown tree that was too pitiful for even the cheeriest souls. Too many things were wrong so it was time for a makeover.

Note the long limbs in the middle,
short limbs below, and skimpy lights.

Even Poopsy had to get off for the redo.

Ornaments in the holding bay.

The naked tragedy.

Redone and doubly bright
with a total of 400 lights.
Even the dogs were proud.
I prefer not to focus on my inept attempt at decorating for the holidays. Amidst the remodel I feel blessed to have put up a tree at all. Let's just say my joy has been doubled with the gift of reenacting this fine holiday tradition twice in one week.

How about you? Any festive faux pas you care to share?

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