Christmas Tree Envy


Last weekend we ventured out to the forest (otherwise known as the IKEA parking lot) to select and chop down our Christmas tree. Okay, maybe we just selected the tree that had already been felled and neatly tied-up in plastic twine. But we still had to sort through what appeared to us to be a smaller crop of trees until we found the right one.

Once selected we secured it to the roof of our car and headed home. The important part of strapping the tree on top of the car is to remember to do so with the doors open so that once the tree is in place you can still get in without having to slither in through the window. A true rookie mistake.

The important part of strapping the tree on top of the car is to remember to do so with the doors open so that once the tree is in place you can still get in without having to slither in through the window

At home I lugged the tree up the three flights of stairs and, while still in the hallway, cut off the bottom inch or so to allow for better irrigation. I have no idea if this actually makes a difference, but it does afford me my annual opportunity to use my saw.

Moving the now minimally shorter but still entwined tree into our apartment I stood it in the stand while my wife tightened the screws that hold up (hopefully) the tree. With the tree upright the first judgement call comes up; is the trunk straight?

In truth, if the trunk is not straight, it’s too late now!

A little bit of turning this way and that and initial positioning is done. Now the plastic twine can be snipped off with scissors. For the next hour or so, the tree seems to relax and let down its branches, you can almost hear it saying “Ahhhh”.

Then, for the most part, I drink beer and she decorates the tree. She even adorns the back, something I’ll never understand

My wife is the Christmas tree decorator of the two of us. I do the schlepping and cutting and installing. I then help her with the lights. Then, for the most part, I drink beer and she decorates the tree. She even adorns the back, something I’ll never understand. In fairness I do hand her the odd decoration (and believe me, we have some odd decorations), and I do spot her when she ascends the three-step ladder, but for the most part, at this point my job is done.

Once the trimming is finished I take the plastic string and reuse it to attach a guy-line between the trunk and the wall. Our cat may well be thirteen, and he spends a whole lot of time napping, but sometimes the curiosity that cats are famous for gets the better of him and he attempts his impression of a Sherpa guide.

Several times during the process we had commented on what appeared to us to be a smaller, less-rotund, group of trees available this year. A little on the skinny side. But still a fine conical shape.

Were I a bitter man I’d be hoping for a large grackle nest to be built midway up the tree.

This morning I looked of our living room window and could not help but notice that our neighbours across the street have put a Christmas tree on their balcony. And it’s huge. Even at a distance I can see it’s a beauty.

I think I have Christmas tree envy!

How dare they flaunt their plump, tall tree by placing it outside right in front of us? I’m hoping they are just letting the branches come down before bringing it indoors for decorating. Otherwise I fear it will be a COVID confinement with closed drapes Christmas. Were I a bitter man I’d be hoping for a large grackle nest to be built midway up the tree. I’d even go so far as to offer the birds the rest of the plastic string to use on their tree. Thankfully I’m not the bitter sort.

1 thought on “Christmas Tree Envy

  1. Linda Blackwell Phelan December 5, 2020 — 8:39 am

    Very good post! Marie Luisa did a wonderful decorating job….the poinsettias and berries in the tree are a lovely touch. Please pass on my compliments to the family artistic decorator. Lin

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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