It’s time for the Christmas tree saga. Again. I feel like we just did this 360 days ago. This blog is literally nothing more than me reporting the same shit year after year.
Having taken place 12 days ago, Thanksgiving falls into the ancient history category because my perceptions of time and space are somewhat skewed from those of normal human beings. Advent is 25% over, I think? Spring break is, like, tomorrow, so is there really even any point in putting up a tree at this late date?
Of course there is. In reality, a tree in our house would be up until at least New Year’s Day, which gives us something like 27 days to enjoy a sappy, water guzzling, needle dropping dead plant in our living room. So LET’S DO THIS.
Except last weekend came and went, and we still don’t have a tree. We had good intentions, we really did.
On Saturday, while thing #2 was at soccer practice, Chris and I enjoyed a lovely lunch together. Upon my inquiry as to what his plan was for getting a tree this year, he informed me he might be open to getting a fake tree.
Last year’s post detailed my beloved’s belief that fake trees are for Christmas haters. A belief he’s espoused for all 20 years of our marriage. So if I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet I wouldn’t be any more surprised than I was when he expressed an openness to forgoing the real tree this year.
As the conversation progressed, though, we agreed it’d be kind of stupid to buy a fake tree at full price when we could probably get one for half the price in three weeks. Still, we sauntered into Michael’s (craft stores are my seventh circle of hell, for what it’s worth) and looked at fake trees. I had the hubs right where I wanted him. It was like one of those ‘we’ll just go to the car lot and look’ moments when you come home with a new car. With just a little cajoling, I’d have had one of those bad boys set up in my living room by day’s end.
I COULDN’T DO IT, Y’ALL.
The ‘why not wait til it’s on clearance’ refrain was echoing through my mind. And in a highly uncharacteristic moment of maternal tenderness, I felt like we needed to talk to the kids before making such a choice. This was damn near as surprising as Chris’ openness to a fake tree, friends. Since when do I give a rat’s arse what my kids think?
Predictably, Elise was 100% against a fake tree. Which I can’t blame her for, because she’s been told for all of her 14 years that fake trees are for CHRISTMAS HATERS. And yet, after church on Sunday, when we drove right past the neighborhood *Catholic church’s tree lot and Chris asked if we should stop and get a tree, she thought the idea was absurd. “Now??,” she asked, and responded to her own question with a resounding no. Which I echoed because Sunday afternoons are for NAPPING. Not schlepping dead trees into living rooms. Duh.
*Is now the time to tell you I’ve frequently tap danced on the sanctity of my own soul by buying a tree from an anti-choice, anti-marriage equality organization for the sake of convenience?? Well, I have. Because the lot is only a few blocks from my house. And because, really, what says **Emmanuel God with Us more than closed communion?!!
**Is now the time to tell you I’m not really anti-Catholic? I’m not, I promise. I actually have some fairly strong leanings toward ‘you do you on Sunday mornings so long as you don’t step on my toes.’ But I also typically would not throw money at an organization whose theologies and political leanings have so little resemblance to my own. Aaaand, this entire tangent is fairly awful and I hereby apologize to my many Catholic friends. Kind of. Also, Keep on Keepin On, Papa Francisco– call me if you ever wanna hang out because I think you’re dope and your Jesus seems to have a lot in common with my Jesus.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch. On Sunday afternoon, when we didn’t yet have a tree in the house, I decided to schedule a delivery service. We did this last year, and while it wasn’t exactly the Christmas magic they advertised on their website (delivery was three hours late, which meant an elf was delivering a tree to my house at 10pm, said elf was highly flustered about being late and completely terrified of the dog, and the whole affair was a gawky exercise in awkwardness); it at least got a damn tree in the house.
Alas, when I hadn’t heard a peep from the tree delivering elves more than 24 hours after paypal-ing them $135 (I know, I know), I started worrying all the elves and all the trees had fallen into a crevasse reaching to the center of the earth, probably as a result of those earthquakes in Alaska. Or that I’d been scammed. Regardless, I decided I’d better ask for a refund. Apparently the elves had NOT fallen into a crevasse, but my request for a delivery had. Upon asking for my money back, I rapidly received a call from a very repentant young man who agreed to return my money. He also offered to deliver a tree this evening, at a reduced rate. Which was all good and well, except that the traveling peddler is currently on a flight to France. Which really shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but I am officially retired from trying to string lights on a tree by myself. Or with a grumpy teenager. Still, I could’ve let the elves deliver the tree and just let it sit naked for a week. But, by then, Christmas will be even CLOSER to over, so why even bother?! Do you see what it’s like to live in my mind, folks? Or, God forbid, in a house with me?
I’m fairly certain I’ve never in my adult life had a tree, real or otherwise in my house by December 4th. And yet, I feel I’m desperately behind. Which I blame on a freakishly early Thanksgiving and all you normal people who put up your trees the weekend after turkey day and share it on Instagram. So suck it, calendar and social media. I’M OK, DAMMIT.