Monday, December 03, 2007

My affair with trees.

Over the years, I've had a love/hate relationship with my Christmas trees.
Some years I have just loved my tree. Others, not so much. And a few ... well, lets just say I couldn't wait to throw them out into the yard.

Some years I reveled in the glorious thing which was the tree. Twenty strands of lights, and every inch of space taken up by ornaments, garland and tinsel. The angel on top beaming out at me. Every space had to have something. Some years it was sesame street. Others, pink and white teddy bears. Yet others, all red, or blue or silver. But my favorite will always be the multi colored explosions of color with every thing including the kitchen sink added to it. And hell, if the lights blinked I was in a state of euphoria.

Then there were the years when I just wanted it over with already. The lights were wrong, I hated the color schemes and besides, could NO ONE else in this insane family not see that every space was not taken up? the lights were uneven and that angel, she wasn't smiling, she was smirking at me.Every time I looked up at her, I just knew what she was thinking. "This is the ugliest tree that ever was. It's uneven, the lights are knockoffs and those dime store ornaments should never have seen the light of day. Yet, here they are on your PERFECT tree." Little Bitch, she deserved a stick up her back side for giving me those nasty looks and making those comments. Who did she think she was? and hell, she came from Wal-mart, how snooty could she have really been?

Then there was the year we had the charlie brown Christmas tree. It didn't start out that way. Nope. It came from a large chain of hardware stores. Handy Andy I believe. Anyhow. It was already tied up, so you only could see how tall it was. The green color was beautiful. It appeared healthy and robust. A friend and I both bought one of those magnificent trees. We lugged them home in her truck and light good new wives. We set it up out on the porch in the bucket of sugar water to let it...settle. The following day. It was lugged into the house. My husband cut the base and fit it into the stand. I lovingly filled it with water and a tablespoon of sugar to keep it looking alive and green.
The next day the phone rang. My friend who had the brother of my tree was calling to ask If I had noticed anything, um, different about my tree. No, I told her, I hadn't. What could be wrong with my beautiful green tree. She began to laugh and told me to go and look closer. To look at the trunk. In fact I should look at the trunk all the way to the tip. What color was mine?
"What color is mine? aren't tree trunks brown?" I asked in my new farm wife innocence.
"Just go look and tell me what you see." I went over to the tree, got down and looked at my tree trunk. Green. I looked higher. Still green. What could this mean? She was laughing so hard I could hardly understand what she was telling me.
Our beautiful healthy, fresh cut trees, where so old, they had been spray painted green. Within days, the branches were drooping, needles were dropping at an alarming rate and the entire thing began to look like a fire hazard. By Christmas, my wonderful tree made Charlie Browns little branch of a tree look like the one in New York's Rockefeller Center.
Poor, sad little dead tree, lost it's branches when I tried to move it outside. It was bare and twig like by the time it went over the side of my front porch. That was the year I think I was still finding needles in April. Sneaky things that they are.

My love/hate relationship will continue for awhile longer I'm guessing. Next year I want a red one. Or a pink one. Something different and crazy. I like crazy. Why not a pink painted tree, I've already had one sprayed painted green. Not much difference if you ask me.

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