It’s Christmas. Again.
The first year that we moved into our new, blended family home, we decided to take advantage of the the two story great room with a ginormous tree.
This was not a well thought out purchase. My dear husband was walking through a big box store on his way to get toilet paper and he became sidetracked by this gorgeous artificial evergreen with its pre-lit promises and fancy ornaments. He called me to get my thoughts on this purchase. I too was caught up in the hoopla of our new home, our happy blended family and the picturesque tree to complete our fairy tale.
That perfect tree came home in a box, sans quaint ornaments and helping hands to make the tree look picture perfect. Okay. That was expected. However, upon pulling the tree from the box, we realized the enormity of the tree despite the grandiosity of the room.
The tree was not put up that night. We had to put together a plan of attack. Seriously. Attack. Fast forward a few days, we were having a tree decorating party. Fortunately, our middle child was dating a very tall boy at the time.
We used him. I admit it.
We made that boy climb up the ladder and do every single bit of decorating above eight feet on that 20 foot tree. (They broke up later on. Could it have been his fear of being saddled with the duty of crawling up that tree every year. Who knows?) But the tree went up, we enjoyed it for a few weeks, then we assembled that crew back together and put that damn tree back into the box. Safely tucked it away into the basement. We decided the next year we would try another option.
We didn’t. Year two, we were at it again. Sans tall boyfriend. Fortunately, Baby Boy Lacy had put on some height. This child had no option. We put a roof over his head and fed him so he was obligated to do the climbing to the tallest reaches of the tree.
And again, after Christmas, we put that tree away and said good riddance. But this time we packed it into the deep recesses of the basement and our minds.
Given that our middle child had always wanted a real tree, we decided that we would give that a shot, next time. Year three, we ventured to the local farmer’s market and toted a realistic size tree into our home. (It even fit onto the top of the SUV. Always a good sign.)
We were proud.
We had the usual suspects over for our—what had become by then—annual tree decorating party. The tree sat all nice and pretty in the living room that year. Of course, it’s a formal room with a grand piano and a sofa and a loveseat and tables and we found ourselves a bit cramped on Christmas morning sitting on top of one another with furniture, gifts, food, hot chocolate, wrapping paper…You get the point. It was the year that we lost Baby Boy Lacy’s expensive Christmas sunglasses in the overwhelming mess.
With the real tree, I felt we were on to something. For a few years we managed quite nicely. We moved the tree to the basement where the TV room and game room provided an optimum space for all of the Christmas activities. Our “Lacy 5” tree outing became a planned event, determined by the date when ALL the parties could be available for ALL of the evening’s activities. We picked our tree, grabbed coffee at the attached coffee shop, enjoyed chili at home, set up our tree and decorated to our heart’s delight. (Yes, exactly in that order. Every year.) A few minor inconveniences were witnessed but we thought we had it going on.
And then we became overconfident.
Last year, we searched for our tree in the freezing cold. It was very close to Christmas and my husband decided this was a good time to see if the late date was worthy of haggling. We were tired, grumpy and forced my husband to get on with it and “just pick a tree.”
Fast forward to my husband sawing off both part of the top of the tree and the bottom of the tree to fit it into the basement. You see, we had forgotten to measure the tree. We eyeballed it because, well, overconfidence. And then our tree was sawed in all the wrong places and it tilted and some ornaments fell off our lopsided tree. But we owned it, and we loved it and we called it Christmas.
But it’s that time again.
I’m always hopeful.
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