O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

There are some Christmas traditions from my youth that I treasure. 

Cutting down our own Christmas tree.  We’d stomp around quite a bit, looking for the perfect tree.  Sometimes through the slush, sometimes through the snow.  Either way, but the end of the adventure our fingertips were numb and our noses were red.  But we were always smiling at the end of it.

Going to McDonalds after cutting down the tree.  We didn’t have a lot of money, so McDonalds was a treat.  We’d chomp happily on our burgers and fries while talking about the tree that was tied to the roof of the car; reliving the funny moments that happened just an hour beforehand.

Christmas Eve chili.  I’m not sure when this one started, but eventually we’d have chili ever night on Christmas Eve.  Not being a tomato fan, my mom would grind up the tomatoes for me so the chili was perfect.  Something about chili and Christmas Eve now just seems right.

Viewing Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.  After our chili, we’d get in the car and drive around looking at the lights on the houses and in front of City Hall and other Government buildings.  We’d pick out which ones we liked the most, while listening to Christmas Carols on the radio.

Now that I’m living close to the big city, a lot of these traditions are out the window.  We don’t have a car, but we had rented one to visit friends.  We decided after visiting them that we’d find our tree.  The first odd thing about getting a tree outside of a farm is that they sell them in parking lots.  It just seems wrong, but beggars can’t be choosers.  This particular parking lot had all the trees wrapped up in netting.  Clearly (to me, at least) that wasn’t going to work. 

“Why would someone buy those when they didn’t know what they looked like outside of the netting?!”, I asked my hubby all flabbergasted, “There could be gaping holes!”

I don’t think he ever answered, or if he did it was a monotoned “I don’t know”.  He just drove to the next location, the nursery.  I carefully looked at quite a few, trying to pick out the perfect tree.  Hubby just tagged along, clearly not that much of a fan of a) picking out trees, and b) hauling them up to our new apartment on the fourth floor.  Really, who could blame him?  But at this point he would be fighting Christmas tradition, and would be the loser in that fight.  He’s not stupid.  He just tagged along with semi-minimal grumbling.

I was so excited this year because we hadn’t gotten a bigger tree in ages, and we moved this year to a place with both the space and tall ceilings for a tall one.  Hubby was not so excited because, as stated above, he had to do the hauling.

We got to our condo, and hubby carried that big boy up to our landing like a trooper!  We found the tree stand and decided that we would keep the tree on the landing over night to get used to the indoor temp.  Success!  We had our tree, and it was tall, fat, and lovely.  Sort of like me, but I digress.

I was tired after the long day, and went to bed a little earlier than normal.  Hubby stayed up, playing video games.  I was juuuust starting to fall asleep when I heard a BOOM BOOM BOOM from the hallway.

Uh oh.

I heard the hub go to look to see what had happened.  Apparently the tree made a break for it and tried to end its life more quickly by jumping down the stairs.  Later hub told me that it was practically standing on its head, in the middle of the staircase.  And we won’t talk about how many pine needles were all over, or the fact that the top of the tree now is facing northwest as opposed to straight up. 

We have two obnoxious cats that haven’t been around a real tree since before they were rescued, and I’m sure that tree sensed that and tried to save itself from whatever evils these furry devils would bestow on it.  And believe you me, evil is an understatement sometimes with these maniacs.  It’s a good thing they’re cute.

Hub rescued the tree and last night we brought it inside.  It’s been a pain, especially for hub.  Needles are all over, he’s had to strap the tree to the wall, he’s gotten poked in the face/head/eye trying to get the tree straight in the holder, and he’s gotten sap on his hands.

No matter how much he tries to hide it, and he really doesn’t try all that much, hub just isn’t a fan of the tree tradition.

In some surprising news, however, the tree survived the first night with the cats.  The cats have hid under it, played around it, and chewed on a few branches BUT… they have not tried to climb it (yet).

Knock on tree wood.

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