Oh, Christmas Tree

You may be surprised to learn that I am a bit of Scrooge at Christmastime. Maybe even a bit of a Grinch. It’s not that I dislike the Christmas season or hopeful weeks of Advent and what the season truly represents, it’s more that I hate the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The long lines, the hot tempers, the rushing around to get last minute presents, and the drama that surrounds a Christmas tree are exhausting.

Drama surrounding a Christmas tree, you ask? Yes, every year, the unpredictable variables of the Christmas tree continually deliver moments of holiday commotion.

Some years it’s the lights. Sometimes it’s the actual outing to the Christmas tree farm and wishing ill will on a family that has “stolen” your perfect tree. Then there was the time that the tree almost unfastened itself from the roof of our family minivan on the Garden State Parkway. Another year it was a vengeful cat that continually knocked it over, smashing lights, ornaments, and spirits. Other years it was the placement of ornaments (it can be a sensitive and territorial time). Needless to say, happy and long-lasting memories have been formed year after year. We can all laugh about this now.

This year is no different and the Christmas tree drama is caused by a tree stand that just…can’t.

After a long discussion that I did not want a tree, it was brought home to me as a “surprise.” I wasn’t initially thrilled but the gesture was so sweet that I can now say I know how the Grinch felt when his cold-stone heart grew 3 sizes that day.

Look at that fine tree. It even came complete with it's first two ornaments: a pencil for a teacher and a Batman, clearly representing the tree purchaser.

And this is the tree, a full week later, in it’s preferred position:

The first few times it fell, the thud into the window/wall had me convinced that it was an attempted burglary. No, it was just the tree that cannot stand. No matter how many times we fix it, or readjust and fasten it in the stand, it flops over. The Batman and pencil ornaments were shattered early on (along with our hopes of a Southern Living style Christmas tree) and the tree now has bald spots. Pine needles apparently don’t hold up well when repeatedly smashed against concrete.

If the tree can hold out for a new stand, I promise to post pictures and bring this tree back to life. I’m prepared to take style cues from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special if necessary. Stay tuned.

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