Friday, December 10, 2010
O Christmas Tree
Every year around Thanksgiving is The Big Discussion. I anticipate this with as much glee as a root canal. Do we get a real tree (I vote yes) or use the giant Siberian spruce that Mom got on clearance (it was only missing a few key branches that couldn't be replaced cos it was discontinued SUCH A DEAL) that was residing in the basement. It takes hours to assemble the fake one. It takes minutes to choose a real one, wrap it up and tie it to the roof of the car. This is not rocket science, except to Spouse who is not a rocket scientist.
He worries that we'll get to the seller (camped out in front of the local supermarket) and they'll be out of our favorite, a Con-Color which smells like tangerines. He keeps forgetting the guy hasn't sold them for years and he won't even be open until the second week in December. We just have to hurry.
I don't want to camp out in the parking lot unless I'm waiting for concert tickets for something awesome and even then the thought of me camping anywhere sends me and anyone that knows me into peals of laughter. Spouse would have to wait until the guy actually showed up to worry but his philosophy was why wait when you can worry now so I left him to that and kept typing.
He's Jewish and until me, never celebrated anything. Now he prepares with the puritanical fervor of a founding father and leaves me in the dust but he's happiest when he's busy and I'm happiest when he's busy too so while he's stringing popcorn, I'm eating it, because dammit, I'm doing my part too.
I have a few pecadilloes of my own. I only want red lights on my tree, preferably chasers (blinkers to those not in the know) and they have to be pinpoints, not those giant honking bulbs. This can be a problem if you have a fat seven-footer. We're talking 5 or 6 sets of lights. That all have to work. Together. And woe to the man who puts a set on backwards and the end of one thingamajiggy doesn't fit into the angel on top.
Ohhhhhh the angel. Heh. Lizzy gave me the angel. Among other things I owe her for she's soley to blame I mean responsible for Spouse and I meeting and in a fit of remorse and regret, gave me a Madame Alexander babydoll Christmas Angel topper as a consolation prize. She's cute, the angel that is. So is Lizzy (and single) in case anyone is interested. The angel's skirt and the little candles in her hands light up like road flares. Festive. The angel goes on last. Spouse always makes sure to put it on first.
So 'tree guy' opens and Spouse is chomping at the bit. I want two wreaths too. I like the way the whole house smells like, well, the outside of the house because we're surrounded by woods where there are hundreds of trees for free but we don't do free. We have to buy it from a guy who wraps it up in white twine and ties it to our roof with the doors closed and then has to untie it to let us in the car and do it over. This happens every year. I don't say a word because I'm usually too busy sucking down a toffee cappuccino and eating gingerbread cookies. I also like to see the men running around in their buffalo check jackets and deer stalker (think Elmer Fudd) hats little clouds of breath puffing as they huff and run around in the cold.
Even though we get there early, tree guy tells us he only has one wreath left in the size we want. The only other size would be appropriate to decorate the outside of an airplane hanger so we pass on them and grab the one wreath until his new stock comes in. The irony is not lost on me that I can make my own wreaths from my own woods but where will I find plaid ribbon ans those cute doves with the googly eyes? Etsy? Come on!
The tree is a glorious frasier fir. My kinda tree, it's full and decidedly round-ish. If it were a man and gainfully employed, Spouse might have competition. He still might. It's that good. He watches me eyeing the tree, him with suspicion, me with admiration and possibly lust and he tells me to go in and hold the door open which I do laughing. Then the lights.
The lights are all wrapped around newspaper (my idea) and he checks each set several times. They all work but the tree has to settle. Settling can take days or a week depending on the tree. The branches on this tree are rather sturdy so we wait a few days for it to acclimate to its new environment while I tape Christmas cards to the front door and eat more gingerbread cookies. My habit is three a day and climbing. My tolerance for icing is growing and I may have to step up my visits to Dunkin Donuts for my frequent fixes. The jones is that strong.
I decide to take a picture of the naked tree and post it on Facebook. It becomes so popular someone suggests it gets its own fanpage. Wonton vetoes the idea because she still doesn't have her own. She's also drinking all the water in the tree's well in an effort to cause her competition to die of thirst. Meanwhile Facebook tells me that it's been reported that I have an offensive photo on my profile. The naked tree.
Today the lights went on. He was pissed because he wanted Chinese take-out and screwed up what I wanted to order and when we called the restaurant they screwed up and deleted his dinner. He checked my food at the restaurant when he got there but didn't think to check his own until already home. It's 15 degrees out. I offered to share my dinner. He stomped out and drove another 45 minutes to pick up his order. I drank two glasses of wine and chatted with my friend in Australia. He got home, ate, put the lights on backwards and threw an extension cord across the room. Wonton is converting to Buddhism and the tree is leaning left but I ain't saying crap.
Tomorrow: ornaments. <Note to self: Buy more wine.>