Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's A Wonderful Life.

Well, hot damn, it's almost Christmas.

"So it's Christmas- and I want EVERYTHING." This song has been in my head for the last week, and I can't seem to shake it. 'Tis the season.

So, normally, because I am such a huge fan of everything Christmas, I start pushing at the beginning of November for my husband to drag out the 'tree'. I say "tree" simply because I am not quite sure that a $70.00 fake tree that is almost 10 years old still qualifies as a tree- in any sense. The bristles are starting to fall, it's a bit threadbare looking, and the box is being held together with several different types of tape. Fact is, the only thing keeping this tree up is hope- and a precarious plastic stick.

But it's already the end of the first week of December this year, and our family just got the tree up tonight.

It's full of lights, glittery stars, icicles, pictures, balls, faeries, a pair of paper skates, and love. Even though it's clearly been decorated by demented, gluebag elves (or kids hopped up on sugar cookies), I love it.

My husband hates everything about Christmas (and if I'd known that when I met him, I might not have gone on that first date), but more than that, he HATES this tree (it offends his sense of colour, order, balance- well probably everything). I think, given the option, he'd launch it off the roof, and pee down on it.

Next year, we are getting a real tree. I love real trees- the only down side is you can only have them up for a few weeks. I would lose out on at least three weeks of treedom. But I still love real trees, there is something so much more Christmas-y about a real tree.

My dad always went and got us a nice big tree. The only thing I remember about Christmas for about five years running is this: dad comes home, with the tree in the back of a borrowed truck. The next five hours are a horror show, complete with screaming, swearing, hacksaws, and threats. And eventually, mom taking me out of the house, so my dad could have a complete meltdown in peace.

The absolute best year though, was the year my dad cut his own tree down at the tree farm. It was a glorious tree. Perfectly cone-ish, full branches on every side, six feet tall, dark green with a wonderful smell.

Dad put the tree up in the living room, right in the centre, spotlighted by the huge picture window. He put the tree into the holder, the leaned back to check the levels. The tree toppled instantaneously. He cursed. Mom went over and helped set it right again. But no matter how dad moved base level, the tree WOULD NOT stay up.  It was perpetually canted to an angle of about 30 degrees.

He had picked a tree with a crooked bole. It looked perfect- but if you tried to secure the base, the rest of the tree had an 'ell' shape in it. Eventually, after almost throwing the damned tree through the window, dad took a hacksaw to the tree, right above the bend.

It was still a perfect tree. Only four feet tall- and missing a chunk of branches on one side where dad grabbed it to throw it.

On second thought, next year we'll buy ourselves a new fake tree. It's probably safer all around.

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