I happen to know what I like.
And my family thinks that I have very, VERY poor taste when it comes to Christmas trees. Which is exactly why I have to function in very manipulative, self-centered ways if we're to have even a shot at a Merry Christmas around here.
Several days before the festive, fun-filled, family-lovin' tree decorating day, I layered up seven preschoolers for a very special wintery walk to our local scenic tree lot, just a mere two blocks from our estate. (Okay, so its the gas station, okay? ) We perused the selection carefully, finally settling on a $16.94 gem of a tree, just covered in those adorable little nubby things. I was pleased that they offered free delivery. Not that I minded pulling two baby sleds to get there, but I wasn't too confident on which toddler to give the boot to so that I could haul little Charlie Brown home with us. Wouldn't my family be pleased.
Wouldn't they though.
With a great deal of gentleness and care for my tender feelings, they announced that I had brought home the ugliest tree that they had ever seen. I mulled that over for a while, pointing out to their inexperienced eyes how perfect the distant but evenly placed branches would be for displaying my collection of vintage ornaments. (which if they were to smash.... OOoooooooh, so help me. ) I reasoned that they were simply acclimatized to unreasonably large, and well-endowed evergreens that graced the empty lot behind our house. If they wanted a ridiculously perfect tree, I told myself, they could just go outside for some fresh air, and go gaze at those beauties.
But then mother guilt smit me.
"They are only children", she pleaded, "only one chance at happy childhood Christmas memories", she whined on.
"Don't you know that you have absolutely no right to have opinions? Have you forgotten that you are MOTHER, woman whose entire personality and personal taste, needs, and desires got shoved down that giant hospital garburator with your placenta(s)?"
I hung my head in shame.
BUT at least I had the van that day! And only two children to care for! There was nothing that I couldn't do.
So off we merrily carrolled back to the tree lot. I tried. I really tried to look at those fifty dollar, perfectly dome shaped thingies that they call trees. But my feet had minds of their own and I soon found myself gazing longingly at the gangly, lonely orphans in the north corner of the lot. AHA!! Leaning near the back, right up against the fence, was the perfect, perfect compromise. Yes, it was a spruce, and not a pine (which my tasteless offspring preferred). But it was a big pine!
There was no time for delivery.
I thought my plan through briefly. Very briefly.
Then, I waited til the gas attendents and customers all looked pretty busy and distracted, and I dragged that big beauty up alongside of the van. The rear hatch was frozen shut, but I was not to be deterred. It would be a MERRY CHRISTMAS, and it was gonna start tonight, even if it very nearly killed me. The rear of the gas station opened into the back lane, which was very under-used, and quite possibly the only alley in the whole town that does not require mowing in the summer. At the end of the half block of back lane, I would be able to see my house, just across the church lot on the corner.
I hopped into the drivers seat, the trunk of that big tree resting on my thigh. Singing lullabies and "God rest you merry gentlemen", I eased into the lane and headed towards home. I happened to pass two men in half ton trucks who looked themselves to be very full of the Christmas spirit themselves, grinning ear to ear as they were. I don't suppose it had much to do with ten feet of spruce dragging along the snowy street beside me. I smiled and waved, acting very nonchalant. (And that's no simple thing to do- waving whilst hanging onto a tree, and driving, and working consciously on not thinking too much about what I was doing.)
Safely home again, with my prize tree intact, I hurriedly pulled Mr Big straight into the house. All eleven feet of it.
We have eight foot ceilings.
After sawing off the bottom three feet, Mr Big looked exactly like Exhibit A.
It looks like its gonna be a Merry Christmas after all.