My Christmas Tree Adventure

For many people, the day after Thanksgiving brings a fun family tradition. No, not shopping at the crack of dawn, but Christmas tree hunting. And everyone knows that U-Cut trees are best. So after a couple of hours in freezing cold temps, when I said I found the most perfect, absolutely be-a-u-tiful tree the lot had to offer, my husband kept his skepticism to himself and chopped it down.

So now ’twas the fourth of December and our Christmas tree had been sitting in the back yard since the day after Thanksgiving.

Since then, my husband had thrown out his back and I, measuring up at a towering 5’1″, decided to haul the eight foot tree in all by myself instead of patiently waiting for his back to get better – or for him to at least get back from watching the Lions game to supervise. How hard could it be? The poor thing was sitting under three inches of snow and trussed up like a Christmas goose!

I was slightly dismayed to find its resting spot located directly under a leaky rain gutter, but undaunted, took a hammer and began to chip away at the ice attaching the tree firmly to the ground. As my eight year-old stepdaughter cheered (laughed her little butt off), I managed to maneuver the thing upright.

Since reliving this is painful in itself, I’ll skip the couple of pulled muscles and few thousand strategically placed pine needles.

Once the tree was snug in it’s “easy” to use stand (the kind with the vicious-looking spike that miraculously holds the tree in place), I took a step back to admire my handiwork. Looked ok to me. So buying a tree that tall doesn’t really allow for a star. The star doesn’t necessarily have to go on top. I cut the twine that bound the branches back.

Immediately the stupid thing started to tip forward, threatening to squash me. As I hugged the eight foot tall tree, my mouth filled with pine needles, I realized I had a problem. My tree had scoliosis (severe curvature of the trunk).

I ended up leaning the thing drunkenly against the wall, noting that it not only had scoliosis, but that the trunk was not even (preventing it from sitting in the stand correctly) and it also had mange.

This was not the tree I picked out. Someone had to have snuck into my back yard and swapped their cruddy tree with my perfect one. Animals must have nested in it and chewed half its branches off. A dog must have dragged it away, rolled on it, buried it, dug it up again, and put it back in the exact same spot outside my door.

To make a long story short, we took it back to the tree farm, had them cut a couple feet off the bottom, re-drilled it and called it good. But the moral of this story is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And it’s usually a good idea for the beholder to get a second opinion.

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