Saturday we put our tree up. Ever since I was a kid, this has been an honored family tradition, everyone helps out. When I was little we had the Bonanza album Christmas on the Ponderosa and that was the record we put on for the tree-trimming event. Go ahead, snicker. It's damn fine music, but more importantly, it's tradition. The first Christmas Rob and I were together I was reminiscing about our favorite old holiday album and how it had gotten to the point where we couldn't play it anymore. No more Little Joe on tree decorating day. DAMN. What did my sweet, nostalgic beau do? He went on eBay and bought the CD. So, tradition lives on. I'm sure one day Max and Miles will give a hearty thanks to their father accompanied by a full eye roll.
So, Saturday was the appointed day for the tree, we were armed with our music and our brand new 7 1/2 foot artificial tree. Yep, that's right, we went artificial this year. I have never ever done an artificial tree and it was a big adjustment for me. There's something romantic and spiritual about going out on a cold frosty morning to pick out the perfect fresh cut tree. There's something about lugging it all the way home, trimming the trunk, setting it into the stand and hauling it inside. There's the SMELL... ooohhh, the fantastic scent of Christmas. However, after several weeks of being in our house, there's the familiar and irritating pile of needles on the floor. There will come the day when you notice that the tree isn't really drinking the water you've climbed down under the tree to fill up, and you know that tree is drying out and drying out with every day. By Christmas morning, you reach under the tree to get that pretty little present and half of the needles rain down with a crackling on the gifts. By Christmas dinner, the tree looks pathetic. The next day, you're contemplating ripping it down already. Ok, maybe not YOU, but me, yes, several years. The day after Christmas last year Rob and I took full advantage of my father visiting us and took off in the morning for sales. We were determined to buy our very first fake tree. We got a great deal and were excited about putting it together for the first time ever this year.
So, again, back to Saturday. I've got music going, I've hauled up all the boxes of decorations out of the basement. We cut open the box containing our glorious new tree. An hour later, we're still plugging in color coded branches into little holes and fluffing up the fake needles. This is a somewhat long and depressing task. By the time we were done, I'm no longer festive. I no longer care about the damned Ponderosa or if the star will fit on the 7 1/2 foot tree when our ceilings are 7 1/2 feet exactly. I am more annoyed that I just spent an hour plugging branches into a fake tree and now my wee beast is awake and joining big beast in ripping apart boxes of decorations and ornaments. OHHHH, what's THIS???? ARGH.
By the end of the day, I'm exhausted and I have just one more box to put away... why does this take longer and longer every year? But alas, finally, the lights are all on, my little village is lit, and there's Rob handing me an eggnog with plenty of the "nog" and the day doesn't seem as annoying anymore. Hmmm..... Christmas. I'll tell ya later whether or not the artificial tree was worth it. Merry Christmas!!