Being that my birthday and Christmas fall on the very same day, my Christmas spirit rarely falters. Decorations appear without fail during the first week of December and usually hang in there with a sad departure around mid-January. This year proved to be much different frustratingly by my own doing. My husband came home with a surprise on the last day of November with a date night to pick out the perfect tree at our favorite local produce stand. The 5 1/2 foot tree was chosen with care based on all of the proper requirements: size, color, texture, smell and distribution of limbs. We happily arrived home with our new purchase. Neither of us had fully considered the implications of the constant rain from the previous 2 days. This unfortunate fact lead to the car, the apartment complex hallway and subsequently the apartment to be littered with stowaway pine needles. We swept and vacuumed for the first time. The decorations were then extracted from the rear of the shed, Christmas music filled the air and date night continued. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, obscene amounts of lights were strung and all was merry in the world… so we thought.
About a week later while watering the tree before heading out the door to work (about 7 am), I noticed water collecting on the carefully placed plastic carpet protector under the tree skirt. Upon investigation, quite a lot of water happened to be congregating, creating a small pool in a place where no pool should rightly be. The husband was woken and water removal commenced. After 30 minutes we arrived at a moisture level I was comfortable leaving until after work. In the evening, the remains of our morning’s chore was completed and we vacuumed and swept for the second time. The next day during an epiphany I realized that filling the tree stand until it was almost overflowing almost assuredly would cause water to seep between the metal screws and the stand itself. After this revelation adjustment to the water level, the aforementioned pools miraculously ceased accumulating with my Christmas spirit still mostly intact.
December continued without further incident unless you count the numerous vacuuming expeditions which are to be expected during this festive season.
Christmas day arrived much earlier than usual (at 6:30 am) with the anticipation of giving each other carefully wrapped treasures. Gifts were opened, calls were made to loved ones cross-country, delicious food was eaten and all of our new belongings were admired and found a new home. Growing up it would not be uncommon for Christmas gifts to linger in the living room days after Christmas, allowing the spirit of giving and receiving to amble about. Now, my husband is a very methodical person who believes Christmas gifts should be useful and soon after being opened, explored and appreciated, find a thoughtful place to reside. Although I find this trait to be valuable it is also a bit disconcerting because it allows Christmas to be concluded post-haste. With nothing under the tree, logic says the tree no longer has true function (aside from being beautiful and creating a mess). My logical side was done with the Christmas tree before December 26th arrived. This is a problem being that I usually beg to keep the tree up “just one more day” around January 10th. 2010’s tree debacles weighed heavily on my logical side and tested my will power to keep the tree up even as long as New Year’s Eve. On the very first day of the New Year, Christmas was dismembered, ornaments placed in their boxes and all was packed away without a hint of regret.
It is now the 3rd day of January and this tree is still a figurative needle in my side sitting on the porch, continuing to lose needles making a mess until we take it to the Christmas tree disposal site. For your benefit here are some photos I took of our tree which was truly beautiful on the outside. (For the record we are considering a fake tree for this coming year which is against everything Christmas that I hold near and dear).