Friday, December 16, 2011
Since we're only a little over a week away from Christmas, I thought I would do a post about our Christmas tree. O Tannenbaum is a German song about a Fir or Christmas tree. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, ours isn't real. The down side is that I doubt that anyone would care to compose a song about a plastic Christmas tree. As far as I can tell, that, and maybe the fact that it doesn't have that nice evergreen scent are about the only downfalls I can think of. I don't have to worry at the start of the season about going out and finding the perfect tree, trudging through knee deep snow, across creeks that are just over the top of your boots, and all the hard work of sawing the poor thing down. I always know where our tree is and pretty much what it's going to look like when we set it up. I never step on any sharp needles that have worked their way into the carpet, hiding in the fabric, waiting for me to walk by with bare feet. I don't have to water it and so I don't have to worry about it suddenly turning into a torch in my living room. There's no sap on my hands after I set it up and no adjusting the tree stand-it always fits- and I don't have to find a corner to fit the bad side in. When the kids were little we used to go out and find a tree- which was always a challenge. You would think that in a land that is filled with Spruce and Jack Pines, finding a tree would be no problem... you would think. But NOOOOOO... not in Bottsville. As I recall, everyone had a different idea of what constituted the perfect tree. It usually involved running around until we were all so cold and wet that I was ready to cry, and I finally had to have the last say in what innocent conifer was cut down. There was probably some poor family of Juncos or Wrens off visiting family and when they came to where their home was supposed to be, I was lugging it off. What a jerk! Of course everything is relative. The tree that doesn't look all that large out in the field can hardly fit through the door, much less stand up in an eight foot high living room, so even after you think the hard work is done, it isn't. Surprise! One industrious young fellow up the street decided to cut down my neighbor's Spruce. Why waste time looking for the perfect tree when it's growing in your neighbor's yard? Surprisingly it grew back, but I must admit, it looks a little goofy now. When I was a kid my grandmother spent a few Christmas's with us. The old saying that Christmas is for kids is true, but I think it should be expanded to include old folks too. I had a large family and we all bought presents for each other,so in the days leading up to Christmas as we lay our presents under the tree, it started looking pretty impressive- in a way that folks that subscribe to the minimalist philosophy would find obscene. I still remember Grandma sitting on the couch looking at all the gifts. It was more than she could stand and pretty soon she was leaning over picking up each one reading the names and shaking them. After a few minutes she sat back down and started talking to herself in a voice just above a whisper and I heard her say " I guess no one likes me... I didn't get anything." Of course she did get gifts, she just didn't see them at the time. It was quite comical to watch her on Christmas morning. She enjoyed opening those presents as much as my little brothers did. Grandma has long since passed away, but I still have pleasant memories of her. I hope that all of you make pleasant memories with your family this holiday season, and if you have a real Christmas tree, keep it watered.