Oh Christmas tree, my (real) Christmas tree that I left lying next to a dumpster to be shipped off to tree heaven or wherever you go when the season’s over.
You were so beautiful and smelled so good! But it was quite THE PROCESS setting you up, not to mention taking you down:
- The ornament hangers were paper clips, so they had to be manually altered to fit the branches.
- The lights had to be strung so the green wires wouldn’t show.
- The gaps between the rows of branches had to be filled with wire evenly so the lights could shine in perfect unison.
- The ornaments had to be dispersed so the same ones weren’t all clustered in one area.
- The silver snow fluffy things that look like Hawaiian necklaces weren’t long enough. Those had to be wrapped around the tree a certain way to give the illusion they were one long piece.
It took over an hour. The living room was stuffy and I was feeling a little nauseous. But when it was done, it was pure magic.
Just before taking it down the other night, I stood in front of the 6-foot tall tree remembering. After all that work! But I was in no mood to hunt for a new apartment in the dead of winter if the now drooping, dried-out tree were to go up in flames. So I got to it:
- The ornaments were just as hard to take off as they were to put on.
- Whenever I reached between the branches to pull the lights and their wires out, the sharp pine needles scratched my arms.
- The more decorations I removed, the bigger the tree looked.
I knew there was no way I could lift it off of the tree stand and out of the room. And the stand was full to the brim with water. I didn’t know what to do. My brow was already glistening with sweat and my throat was parched. I had no idea why I started this; now I just wanted it to be over.
I crouched to the ground and slowly loosened the screws out of the base of the tree. It tipped to one side and I scurried out of the way. I took a deep breath, loosened the screws some more and then pulled one of the branches towards me. The peak of the tree leaned forward, as if bowing down.
Once the screws were completely out of the tree base, I gently tugged on another branch. The tree fell forward in one swoop. I gave a low cry of ‘Timber’ and did a little dance in place. Then a pool of water collected at my feet and stopped me dead in my tracks as it drenched my bedroom slippers.
I ran for the mop, which became instantly clogged with water and pine needles. I had to think fast–towels! Towels would absorb the liquid in a jiff. It worked, although I was left with three towels soaked in sappy pine tree water and huge needles to wash (I had to de-pine the towels before putting them in the washing machine).
Nonetheless, the tree was free to be lugged out of the apartment. Mission accomplished! Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Had I worried about the mess, I wouldn’t have done anything.
And I wouldn’t have a story to tell. Everything happens for a reason indeed!