We debated going to an independent Christmas tree proprietor for this year’s tree. But I peeked into the camper owned by the guy who runs the tree lot in The Firehouse parking lot. It was upsetting to me. I didn’t want Elijah and Luca to accidentally think tree lot attendant was a viable career choice.
So we went to our nearest giant hardware store instead. I maintained that all of the trees over $40 were “Way too tall for our house. We wouldn’t want it to get all bent over.”
Diana ignored me and bought a very nice one. The boys marveled at the man with the chainsaw who trimmed it. I said, “Boys, that is a full fledged man. If you ask him nicely he may raise you as his own sons.”
After having the tree attached to our house by another real man, we drove it home and I pretended dragging the tree to our front door was something to get a lot of credit for.
We flipped on the all Christmas radio station (“Now will 99.9% more ads sung to Christmas carols!”) and got to work decorating.
Growing up, decorating the tree was a precise and painstaking process. My mother demanded no two colors could occupy the same quadrant of the tree at the same time. Shapes too. Don’t get me started on tinsel.
For all of Diana’s OCD issues, she views tree trimming like a free for all. Just chuck them up anywhere and let God sort it out. She spent most of the time imitating the brilliant John Robert’s “Look at the Tree” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuabNnW4JVQ
I could hear the ghost of my mother in my ear the whole time. “Do you think Santa wants to come to a house with two white snowflakes on the same branch?”
I found myself compelled to move ornaments, distributing the colors and shapes to a more Jane Carwell appropriate arrangement. I would sheepishly say, “Oh, that one was going to fall off. Safety first!”
I also demanded my personal favorite gumdrop playing a peppermint guitar be placed highest on the tree, just under the star.
Diana declared the tree perfect in every way and we celebrated by going to separate rooms to play on screens.