Saturday, December 10, 2011

O Tannenbaum

Last Saturday, we made our trek to get our Christmas Tree. I insist on a "real" tree every year. People may be surprised at this being the tree-hugger that I am, but I am not going into an Old Growth Forrest in the Pacific NorthWest for my tree. It is called a Christmas Tree Farm people! After Christmas, we recycle our trees on our property for mulch. Can't get more tree-hugging than that.

We have been going to Lowe's the past few years as they have nice trees at a nice price. Most of the local sellers ( I would love to support), but I cannot afford $100 for a tree! We zeroed in on the 6-7 foot Douglas Fir section. After a bit a looking, here was this magnificent tree! It was huge! I mean ginormous! No way was this tree 6-7 feet, and it was so full! I asked my oldest to look at the sign for the section for the price...$24.97. Okay, this tree must have been put in the wrong section. What does the tag say? "Douglas Fir, 6-7 ft." Okay, someone obviously put the wrong tag on this tree. Hmmm...a bit of a conundrum. Here is the conversation going on in my head at that moment: "God, am I committing a sin purchasing this tree knowing it was obviously tagged incorrectly. Should I say something? If I don't and purchase the tree, would this be a venial or mortal sin?"

I like to think God answered me with the gentleman who came to our rescue. "Wow, what a beautiful tree! It is heavy! Let me help you get it on the cart. Are your ceilings high enough to fit this tree?" Okay, we are getting the tree! "Yes, we have vaulted ceilings." We go through the check-out....$24.97. No one said anything about it being a mistake. Prayers answered.

Now as we are getting the tree base cut, my hubby asks if I remembered to ask for the military discount? Are you kidding, do you know how much this tree cost? I would really be committing a sin if I  asked for the discount! Besides, I never feel comfortable asking for it. It is my husband who wears the uniform, not me (although he always says, we deserve it for all our sacrifices as a family). He was not going to let me get away without the discount. I go up to the cash register again and very sheepishly ask ( those of you who know me, the Jersey attitude only kicks in after crossing over the Jersey border--outside of the Garden State, although I am not Hawaiian by blood, I am in spirit as Ona always told me)....."Can I get a military discount on this, or is it too late?" The cashier said I needed to go to customer service. Well, that was just too much work for something I did not want to do in the first place. Besides, hubby was distracted with getting the tree tied to the van. Thank goodness he did not ask me about it.

We have a large tree stand, but I was wondering if it was large enough. I asked hubby. He said he thought it would be fine, but after this year, we would probably need a new one. This stand has held many trees, and due to all the rust, one needed a screw driver as leverage to loosen and tighten all the screws that steady the tree.

Here we go. We get it into the house. Yup, the base is too large for the stand. Not to worry as I am married to an USAF CE Dirt Boyz. Off to the shed. He returns with a saw and an ax. Is this overkill or what? Now, he proceeds to saw and hack away at the base of the tree on my freshly shampooed for the holidays carpet. I watched in horror as wood chips, needles and sap were flying everywhere. What could I say? The man was determined to make this tree fit into our stand (not to mention, he put the lights up on the house, the bushes in the front and my favorite Christmas Tree in the back yard with nary a nag out of me).

How does one get a 12 foot tree in a stand without a crane? Trust me, if this man had access to one, he would use it! We put the stand on the tree while the tree was laying down. Then lifted it up. Not bad. Hubby and one of the girls started tightening the screws. After much supervising on my part as to which way the tree needed to be adjusted in order to be straight, I was satisfied. Let go of the tree. And the tree falls down. Thankfully not into the fireplace, or the mantle with the Murano glass, Polish pottery or the Sandra Beorchia painting (my favorite) over the fireplace.

Each time hubby said he got it, and each time my daughter let go of the tree, the tree fell over. Finally, I said, "Why don't I go out and buy a new and bigger stand?" Hubby thought that was a good idea; however, being a Dirt Boy, he was not about to give up. He was going to make the tree fit in the stand, and the stand was going to balance the weight of the 12 ft tree! One more time, hubby says, "I got it now!"  And voila! He actually "made it happen!" Was there ever a doubt?

For good measure, I put 10 pounds of free weights on both of the front legs of the tree stand!

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