Several years ago I did what I thought was a grand thing and now, looking back on it, it was a complete idiotic thing to do, so I live with that crazy decision every Christmas. You see, I bought a “pre-lit” tree without asking my hubs. I have blogged about this tree saga for a couple of years because it’s sad and hysterically funny how it has evolved into a Christmas tradition in the Goodwin household. I will fill my new readers in on a few old details and then catch you all up on how the saga unfolds today.
We were always a real tree family you see. I loved the look, the smell, but I had had it with the cost of those trees year after year. So, after Christmas a few years back Linen’s and Things had this gorgeous, ‘pre-lit’ tree 75% off, and on impulse I bought it. I was quite proud of my purchase but the look on my hubs face when I drug it out of my car was horror. I had not only broken a tradition we have always had, but I didn’t call and run it past him, which is something we have always agreed we would do on big purchases. Without hashing it all up, I was in the dog house and couldn’t take the tree back, so I packed it up and stored it for the next year.
The first year we used it the tree was pretty fabulous, after the hard feelings had simmered over the past year. I lit my, ‘smells like a Christmas tree candle’, which by the way, NEVER smells as good as the real thing, but it was lovely nonetheless. Problems started after Christmas when it was time to take it apart. You see, the ‘pre-lit’ tree turned out not to be ‘pre-lit’ so when I couldn’t store it like I had the past year, and needed to take it apart, it wouldn’t come apart due to all the wires. The reality of what type of tree this was sunk in and I, with jeers from my family, began the tedious process of unstringing this tree. I would have rather had the first layer of my epidermis peeled off than to unstring that tree!
Over the years, this process made a complete mess of the structure of the tree. I broke connection after connection and as it evolved I eventually had about half of a tree. I begged to get a real one, to go back to our tradition and admit defeat, but my sweet hubs, who as most of you know loves to turn trash to treasure, wouldn’t hear of it. I was forced to get creative. It started with the use of fishing line, which on a few limbs still exists today. A year later I resorted to using duct tape. Last year, to my amazement, my cousin figured out how to snap the stems in without breaking the connections so it wasn’t too bad. Regardless though, I was fed up with that tree so I drug it to the road for the trash. My hubs came home early, saw the carcass at the street, and said oh no, and drug it back in the house.
For the past few weeks I knew it was coming, the dreaded piecing together of that tree. I honestly thought about not putting one up too. James had moved out and I went back and forth, to tree or not to tree, that was the question! Alas, the tree won out, along with several verbal family members saying it would be a travesty not to put one up, so I caved.
This morning, I woke up to the dreariness of the day and started cleaning up a spot for that tree. We drug it from the shed into the house, and when pulling it out of the many bags it lived in, several new pieces fell off. I just shook my head and quietly said a few choice four letter words. The stem was rusted, the top was flat, overall it was a pretty sad tree. So, not to let the Grinch in me win out, I vowed to artistically piece this tree back together for one more year, and then, quietly pray that somehow the powers that be see fit for our Charlie Brown tree to break a leg, or a stem, or it’s top off so the saga can end. Problem is, I wonder if any tree will ever be as memorable as this one. I think not, do you?
Here are the before pics. You can see the fishing line, the big hole in the side, the empty connections, and several lost limbs. It has now become a metaphor I feel for my life. A beautiful thing, with broken parts, wired and screwed back together, to shine brightly in a world that needs a few more bright spots than it already has. Stay tuned for the after, you will believe miracles exist when you see those. Happy Advent friends and early Christmas Holidays to you. May you find laughter in your hearts this season!
And here is the final version, taken in the dark, to hide all the “piccadillos” it has. The lights make it look endearing don’t you think? I couldn’t for the life of me post the pics in real light, they would make you break out in song singing, “Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum,” …..and fall over with a great big belly laugh! What I am thankful for is this; my sweet husband and son who insisted on helping me. They strung the lights, they hung the ornaments, they made me laugh, and we all looked at the finished tree with great pride, and all was well in the land……limp star and all. LOL! I won’t for the life of me straighten it. Merry Christmas friends!