Friday, November 28, 2008

Why Fake Trees Save Marriages


Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I can humbly concede to the spirit of this holiday that is Christmas. I know I've been a stinker and a scrooge, and might have offended some people with my bah humbugging. Sorry.

To express my sincerest apologies, I've decided to spread a little Christmas cheer.

As promised, here is a little story about why I have recently purchased a "fake" Christmas tree.


To preface this story, you must know that my sister's husband family own a huge amount of farm property outside the town that they live. Part of that property is up in the mountains. So, early last December, I thought it might be a fun family experience to go all Griswold, and drive up to my sister's property and cut down a Christmas tree. We drove nearly two hours to get there, trekked through mud and snow and forest for hours scouring the slopes for the perfect tree. After searching, and searching, and not finding anything good enough for my humble home, I started hiking up a hill way off the road. Finally, I found a tree that I deemed worthy to be OUR Christmas tree. I called for my hubby, who came with the chainsaw. He laughed and told me it was too big for our house, and I just guffawed and said "This is the one! Cut it down!" Of course, he was tired of following me around the mountain, so he cut down the tree, dragged it down the mountain, and strapped it onto the back of his truck.


We got home, did "a little" trimming to fit the tree into the corner of our family room. One side of the tree was fuller than the rest, so of course that part went in the front. I immediately set out decorating the tree. I was so excited and was sure it was going to be the most beautiful tree EVER!


Later that night, after the tree had been lovingly decorated, the kids and I went to visit my Mom (leaving C home to watch football). An hour later, C called me on my cell phone, fuming, and said that the tree had fallen down, but he'd put it back up. I gathered the kids, and came home. Patiently, I re-decorated the tree.


The next afternoon, the tree fell again. And we patiently pulled it back up. And again the next day.


The next night, around 2:00 a.m., while sleeping peacefully in my bed, I was awakened suddenly, by a strange sound. I heard a slight whoosh, then a tinkle, tinkle, and crash!

My first thought in my half asleep state was that a burglar was in the house. Heart pounding, I thought what to do. Then I realized at once: The tree! I jumped out of bed, flipped on the light, and sure enough there was my beautiful tree lying awkwardly on its face in the middle of my family room. Shocked and stunned by my tree's suicide attempt, I decided to take it upon myself to save my little tree's life. Tired and frustrated, I shimmied behind the tree, and proceeded to attempt to pull up the damaged tree myself. Grunting and pulling, sighing and pushing, I tried every angle I could think of to get that damn tree up. But the enormous mass was just too heavy for weak little me. I wasn't about to swallow my pride and wake up my husband and ask him to help me, so instead I made the biggest racket I could, until finally, he stumbled out of bed and came out to help me on his own. Both of us, agitated beyond reason, having been disturbed from our precious sleep, took upon the task of righting this horrible wrong. He pulled while I pushed, and finally the tree was up, crooked, and cockeyed, but up. With ornaments and lights, strewn everywhere, I again, shimmied around behind the tree, to hold it in place, while C rushed out to the garage to find something to weigh down the back of the tree. He came back with several bricks, and handed them back for me to put into place. Screaming at each other, because it still wasn't working and I wasn't understanding what C was explaining, as he tried to tell me where to put the bricks, we, finally, got the stupid tree upright.

I climbed back out from behind the tree and assessed the damage. A huge puddle of water and sticky sap soaked into my carpet in the middle of the floor. Lights were falling off the tree, and ornaments were everywhere.

After having redecorated the tree so many times that week, I just couldn't wring any more creative energy out of my physically and emotionally exhausted self. So the ornament were literally thrown onto the tree, strings of lights left where they hung.

Covered in sap, sweat, dirt and tears, C & I finally stormed back to bed in bitter silence.


We survived that Christmas. Barely. So, now you can understand my distaste for decorating. I did it enough in that one week to last me for the next decade.

So, to save my marriage, this year, I chose to go fake.

And I will be burning a pine scented candle for effect.

No more Griswold Christmas' for me, thank you very much.

22 comments:

tammy said...

I used to have to have a real tree too. And we'd end up throwing it out with the lights still on it every year because we didn't want to bother trying to untangle them to get them off. I am all about the fake pre-lit trees now and a pine candle. So much easier!

Erin said...

Good for you! We have done a two foot tall fake tree for the last five years, but now that we own a house we have decided to go real. (I think.) Maybe after this Christmas we will see the light and go fake!

Janice said...

Every year we get in a huge fight buying our tree at the local Home Depot. Let the season begin!

Motherboard said...

That was hilarious! Remind me to tell you about the year we got a real tree, and on Christmas morning I swelled up like a balloon-- thus ruining christmas. yeah. Good times!

Redhoodoos said...

That is hilarious!! Glad you survived it.

We can't have a fake tree anymore because our cats climb it and then it tips over and breaks. We get a real tree every year. Wish we could do a fake tree!

Kristina P. said...

I never thought we would have a fake tree, but I love it! It's so easy and clean, and I think it looks great.

You are a trooper! I would have thrown the tree out the window after the second crash.

Mina said...

Bah!! The year I'd finally love to do this, and we can't really afford it at the moment. I'm glad you took the plunge. I can just dream I'm you.

in time out said...

THANK YOU for the wonderful story. wow....that really was a great read. hope that your decking the holidays doesn't turn into any decking the anything else. yes, saved marriages...that is what most blogging is about.

funny. thanks. (love the griswalds)

♥happy turkey recovery day♥

boltfamily said...

That is hilarious!! Ryan and I laughed because the same thing happened to us only ours only fell once...in the middle of the night. Rachel found it the next morning and yelled, "The tree fell down!" We have gone fake every year since.

Tink said...

That's hysterical! That's actually a fun Christmas memory that will last through the ages! But like you, I was tired of the tree messes and opted for a fake about 5 years ago. I haven't regretted it since, although my kids do miss the flocked trees we had, but I am loving the lack of mess.

Natalie said...

You should write a book...it would be a best seller.

Jan said...

You have me thinking. We only do the real mccoy. The pre lit thing really sounds so nice. What a tale. Take care and I hope the holidays bring lots of joy.

binders said...

Okay. I'm bad. I will confess that I was laughing at your tale of woe. It was totally like the Chirstmas Vacation tree- remember how they had to hack it apart to get it in place? At least yours didn't come with it's own squirrel.

I've never bothered with a real tree for just the reasons you describe. That's exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me. Seriously. I feel your pain (even though I'm laughing at it).

Andrea said...

The best thing about a fake tree? Pre-lit Baby! I got tired of being all scratched up putting the stupid things on!

tracytreehouse said...

still laughing! marriage wins at my house too.

Peggy said...

That is a sad (but very funny) tale! I love the smell of a real tree but convenience of a fake wins out every time. Also, I didn't even think about the whole cat in the christmas tree thing until reading these comments. Now I'm a bit worried...

Mother Goose said...

i have to go the fake tree pre lit, it takes me hours to intricately hang lights on a real tree. Sadly, We have to get a real tree this year! I'm a bit worried but I don't want to ruin it for the kids. So, I have been convincing myself ALL year not to stress about the lights!

Mechelle said...

Hilarious! Peace on Earth. RIght? M

Spence said...

I liked it. You're a good story teller.

The Forney Four said...

I"m all about being the fakey-fake.

Mikki said...

Too funny. I'm with you on the fake tree. Every now and then, we'll buy a real one just for kicks. But our pre-lit artificial one is SO much easier.
Bring on the pine candles and save the marriage!

Krazy Kat said...

You should have come with us this year to get a tree! We turned on the right road this time and were in and out with two trees one for us one for the in-laws in 1/2 hour or less! Oh well, your fake tree looks good!