I love Christmas! I love seeing the expectant look on little children’s faces. I love the lights and decorations, the sights, the music, and the delicious sugary foods that add another pound to one’s body with every single bite. I love Christmas trees, mostly those of other people. I say that because my Christmas trees seem to cause trouble.
When I was a little girl we only had live trees. We always picked out one that was too tall, and my father would have to go into the garage, find a saw, and saw off the bottom while still wearing his three-piece suit. The needles on these trees would be everywhere. They would somehow make their way to all parts of the house. In fact, if things were quiet, you could hear them dropping off of the tree and hitting the tops of the presents underneath.
My brother and I had a thing about moving the tree when Mother wasn’t home. We would go into the living room, and we would push the thing from where it was standing to the other side of the room, and then we would move it back. By the time Christmas came, we’d have moved it back and forth so many times that there were hardly any needles left on the tree. Why? I have no idea, but it was just a screwy thing we did every year.
This Christmas has been a doozy, though. I planned to have the greatest Christmas tree ever. I have a dear friend, Cathy Powers, who used to own a professional Christmas tree decorating service, and she was going to help me decorate mine. I have an 8 foot, artificial tree that is pre-lit. What could possibly go wrong?
Cathy and I went in November and bought all kinds of ribbon and shiny things to put on this tree. It was going to be gorgeous. We planned on putting all of this on the tree on a Saturday morning, and I could not wait.
The day finally arrived, and Cathy made the most gorgeous ribbons for the top and they trailed elegantly down the tree. She added shiny gold leaves and gold, glittery curly things to it. It was beautiful. I have ornaments that I have collected from all over the world, and I put those things on lovingly. When it was done, it was the most beautiful tree I have ever had. I would turn it on every morning and leave it on until bedtime, and it just made my heart happy.
One day, I was away all day and got home at about dusk. I wanted that tree to be on, and I bent down to plug it in and well, it fell. Fell right down flat. I just stood there and could not believe my eyes. This could not be happening. And then I went to pick it up, and realized that I had not tightened the screws enough on the stand, so as I was lifting it, it fell on top of me. I was under the tree, and all I could hear was my cursing and the sound of tinkle, tinkle, tinkle as my beloved ornaments fell to the floor and broke. I tried to pick it up again and hold it while I tightened the screws on the stand. While doing this, the middle of the tree and the top of the tree came apart from its bottom, and the whole thing fell on top of me. This time I was not under the tree, I was IN the tree with my legs wrapped around its trunk, or what was left of its trunk. I had lost all control of this tree. I literally began climbing my way out of it. It took me at least 5 minutes to get myself out of the thing, and when I did I went to my neighbors for help.
Bob and Margie Coyle are the best neighbors ever. They are always helping me with things that happen around my house. But when they came to my rescue and walked into my living room, there were just no words. Even my Bulldawg, GracieJayne Fisher, had no barks. Nothing. Silence, all around.
Finally, Bob said, “Carolyn, I don’t really know what you’ve gotten yourself into this time, but I think we had better at least put this thing back together.” And we did. Bob picked it up and somehow got the top and middle back together while I straightened the stand and tightened its screws.
I didn’t lose too many ornaments, and the tree is still beautiful. It’s just that the top goes in one direction, the middle in another, and the bottom in another. But who really cares?
Merry Christmas, everyone!!!