It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means it is time to light up the house and hang up your stockings to wait for ol’ St. Nick. I love everything about the Christmas season, but one of my favorite parts is picking out the Christmas tree each year. For the majority of my life, my family has always had a live tree for the main Christmas tree in our house. Sure, there were little artificial trees in mine and my sister’s bedrooms or the dining room and we even have a tiny tree that goes on the counter in the bathroom, but the big tree…that one has to be real. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me without being able to walk into the house and smell the distinct evergreen aroma.
If your family is anything like mine, picking out the family tree is something that is always done together. There is no way we were ever trusting a sole member of the family to decide on something that we will all have to look at for a month. Also, if your family is anything like mine, then there will be several disputes as to which tree we should actually get. Someone will always complain that particular tree is too short or too skinny or has a funny shape… and I am big enough to admit, that person is usually me. I just want to make sure we end up with a nicely shaped, full (but not too fat), appropriate for the height of our ceiling, Christmas tree; which can be a little difficult to find some years.
When I think back to all of the Christmas trees we have had in the past, there have been some memorable mishaps. One year my cousin fell into the tree while he was at our house, leaving a huge hole. No amount of ornaments could hide the fact that there was now a large section on the front side missing. Another time the tree fell over into the big picture window at my parents’ house. Luckily, mama, my sister Brittany and I were at home and were able to straighten it back up. However, we could not get the screws in the tree stand loose and Brittany and I had to hold the tree in place until Daddy could get home….which was over an hour later.
However, one time that will always stick out in my mind is the year we had to wire the tree back together. We had thought there were some extra limbs that had to be cut off in order for the tree to fit in the stand and since the tree was still in the netting, we thought it would be easier to trim those limbs before we took it inside, which we now know was a mistake. When we took the tree into the house and put it in the stand, it was extremely evident that too many limbs had been removed and the bottom of the tree was now lopsided with big gaping spots all around. Did we go buy a new tree? Or fret over our now ugly tree that would be in all of the Christmas pictures? Heck no! We did what any smart person would do… we took the previously discarded limbs and wired them back on the tree! The only problem with that was we didn’t keep up with what limb went where so we had quite the puzzle to put together.
Now that my sister and I are grown and have our own houses, the disputes over what tree to get are not as frequent as they used to be. We all still go as a family to pick out our trees, but with three houses everyone gets to pick out their own tree… everyone that is, except for Mama and Daddy. We all still spend Christmas at home, so I figure I can still have a say so in which tree to get for their house. We went to pick out the trees last weekend and thankfully we were able to agree on a nicely shaped, full (but not too fat), appropriate height for the ceiling Christmas tree. So, hopefully no one will fall into it this year and all the appropriate limbs will stay attached to the tree trunk…. however, we have the wire on hand just in case!