The Saga of the Tree

Well, ’tis the season and all of that shiz.  Fa la la la la.  Basically, what I’m saying is that we have started the Christmas decorating extravaganza that occurs at our home right after Thanksgiving, and are mid-chaos.  And I am in holiday hell. 

First, let me say, that I am somewhat ambivalent towards Christmas.  I think this has something to do with my upbringing.  In contrast, the hubs is Mr. Falalapants, and loves this holiday like no other.  Also, I believe, because of his youth. 

Let’s review . . . my family is quite small.  Just my parents and my brother and me.  So, Christmas in my family was not a huge family affair.  I mean, we got a tree, and we decorated it, and we did the Christmas morning presents from Santa thing.  But there just wasn’t that whole family feeling you have in other families that are large and raucous and joyful.  That is the hubs’ family. 

The hubs’ is the youngest of five kids.  By the time he was 6, he was an uncle.  (His oldest nephew is one year older than me.  It’s always so funny when he calls me Auntie Misty.  Ha ha).  But anyway, basically, there are a ton of people in his family.  Christmas for him was always a time for everyone to get together and celebrate family and have a great time.  The hubs’ has very warm and fond memories of his childhood Christmas’.  My memories consist of my mother crying in her room on Christmas day because my brother and I wanted to play our new video games and not hang out with her.  Very merry, right?

Anyway, all of that is to explain how the hubs and I have different points of view of this holiday.  Over the years, I have tried to warm to the holiday.  First, for him, and then later, for the kids.  So, I do all the fun holiday tradition stuff . . . getting a Christmas tree, decorating the house, taking the kids to see Santa, sending Christmas cards, even having his entire loud and vivacious family over for dinner on Christmas eve (that’s an entirely separate saga for another time).  But it is an effort for me to try to get into the holiday spirit, whilst for him, it oozes from his pores.  Basically, because he is so damn holly jolly, I try to follow his lead on a lot of Christmas related activities, rather than come across as a Scrooge. 

This brings us to the Tree.  Every year we go to a Christmas tree farm to cut down a fresh tree.  There is this really nice place a few miles away from us with huge fields full of beautiful tall trees.  It also has a big barn in the middle of the farm that sells wreathes, ornaments and other odds and ends.  Plus, we always get some hot cocoa there after the tree cutting.  It is a lovely family tradition and something we have done for quite a few years.

The hubs and I used to argue about when to go get the tree.  I used to think closer to Christmas was better because then the tree would be fresh and more vibrant when Christmas rolled around and for the inevitable few weeks after that the tree would remain up.  He thinks we should go get the tree the day after ThanksgivingPeriod.  Some years I have stood firm and demanded we get it closer to Christmas.  Some years I have conceded to his demands.  This was one of the latter years.

This year, there was no way I was going to argue with him.  I still, of course, thought it was too early, for a variety of reasons:   1.  The day after Thanksgiving was a full month before Christmas this year and the tree would be completely brittle and dying by the official day, and 2.  Not to mention when we took it down, I would get stabbed by all the little sharp brown dead needles when un-decorating the tree.  3.  The day after Thanksgiving was merely 2 days after his mother’s funeral, and I didn’t think it was all Tis the Season time at that point.  However, this was also the reason that I was going to let him have it this year.  He needed something fun and family oriented and Christmasy to take his mind off of the grief.  All of us, really.  So, after Thanksgiving it was.  Off we went to the farm.

We got what could very possibly be called the perfect tree.  It is tall, it is full and it is beautiful. 

Mini lumberjack in training.

That is my little one helping to cut down a tree.  That is not our tree and I think he might have been doing it wrong.  But he was having fun, so whatevs.
 
So, we get our tree, bring it home, put it in the tree holder and get it in the house.  It is lovely sitting in the corner of our living room.  And there it sits . . . for a full week.  Completely untouched.  Naked.  Neglected.  Sad.
 
The problem was that I am the one who decorates it.  Just me.  I put on the lights.  I put on the bows.  I put up the angel (I hate that bitch, she is so damn difficult!), I put on all the ornaments (with a bit of help from my wee little elves).  So, the tree sat waiting for me to decorate it.  And I just could not find the energy or desire to do so.  Until this weekend, where I forcibly made myself get into the holiday spirit at least long enough to get off my ass to decorate that goddamn tree.  With much prompting from my boys all week of course, and also because I was forcibly trying to get myself back into life and walk away from the grieving depressive state I had been in for about 2 weeks. 

So, Saturday morning rolls around and it is time to decorate the tree.  The hubs had brought up a bunch of the Christmas boxes from the basement, including the ornament box and the boxes with the lights.  So, I plug in the lights I am going to use to make sure they work.  They do.  I start to wrap those things around this beast of a tree.  I spend about 2 hours on and off, wrapping the lights around, until I get to about halfway up the tree and realize that one of the strands is pretty old and looks crappy with the wires coming apart.  I also realize that I am not going to have enough lights.  So, halfway through tree lighting, I have to run out to the store to get more lights.  Of course.  So, I come home, start dinner, put some more lights on the tree, and realize that I can’t reach the top of the tree (not even close) with my little step stool, and needed our bigger ladder.  So I ask the hubs where it is . . . it’s at our other house (another saga, don’t ask) and he doesn’t have the key because he gave it to the guy doing work on it this week.  Great.  How exactly am I supposed to get up top to put the lights on?  So, I made him drive over to our BIL’s house to borrow his ladder.  While waiting, I feed the kids dinner, play with the kiddies, then put the little one to bed.  When the hubs brings the ladder back, I proceed to put the rest of the lights up . . . except I am still not tall enough to reach the top.  Damn this tall tree! 

So, I enlist the hubs’ help.  He climbs up and puts the very last strand on the tip top of the tree.  Plus, he then needs to put the angel on top.  As he is doing this, the lights go out.  Complete darkness for the entire tree.  What the what!!  So frustrated right now!  We check the power.  Fine.  We check the outlet.  Fine.  We check the connections.  Fine.  Damnit, I know what it is.  The first strand, wrapped all the way around the bottom of the tree, which is an older strand, has obviously gone out, since all the others are plugged into it.  I check it and yep, that one is the problem.  Which means, I have to take that one completely off, and then put 2 more down on the bottom in it’s place because it was a 250 strand and I only have 2 100 strands left.  Sigh. 

Now, I’m pissed.  And tired.  And frustrated.  Damn this tree.  I do finally get the burned out one off and get the new ones on.  But I’ve now decided that I am done for the night.  It is late and I’ll do the rest tomorrow.  So, the hubs decides to use a bungy cord to tether the tree to the wall so it doesn’t fall over during the night (this has totally happened before).  Great idea.  Except that before I go to bed, I notice the tree is leaning at a very sharp angle towards the wall where the bungy cord has slowly pulled it askew.  Fuck me.

Oh, and did I mention that I am allergic to pine?  Either that or I’m allergic to peace, joy and good will towards men, which is more probable at this point.  Anyway, this happens to me every year:

Itchy.

(I know it’s hard to tell, but I have little red bumps all over any place on my body that touched that tree.  And scratches, because obviously that fucking tree hated me and was trying to cut a bitch).

Whatever . . . the next day, I straightened the damn thing, got the bows on it, got the decorations on it, and am finally done with this tree from hell. 

Ohhhh Tannenbaum!!

She was a real bitch and almost ended me, but I won.  She’s upright, lighted, decorated and topped with a bitch angel.  I am done. 

Merry Fucking Christmas!  Now I need a fucking drink.

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36 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kelly
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 09:38:31

    I know it was a pain in the ass, but your tree looks beautiful, Misty! We did a tabletop tree last year since I didn’t want to keep redecorating the bottom half of it (thanks to the one year old), and this year we’re skipping the tree since we now have a two year old and an obnoxious puppy. I’m kind of grinchy this year anyway.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 12:50:09

      Thank you. And I totally get the grinchy thing. Obviously.

      Trying to keep small children and pets away from the bottom of the tree is a feat that I never learned to accomplish. I’m just glad mine are too old for that now.

      Reply

  2. lisa from insignificant at best
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 10:22:09

    First of all your tree is beautiful and I love the blue paint you have on your wall. LOL I really wanted to do that color in my family room, but we went with a different, brighter, I’m not-so-sure-I-like blue.

    As far as the angel is concerned, it sounds like the bitch deserves her yearly stick impalement.

    Now for the most part I love Christmas, but you are a much better sport than me. My dad and step-mom used to drag my step-sister and I to a tree farm every year for “quality” family time. I’m not so sure it’s “quality” when your kids fucking hate it. I am a wuss when it comes to being cold, so this yearly adventure was my worst nightmare. I was so excited when I was old enough to tell them I wasn’t going. Then when my hubby and I got married I refused to go, so we bought trees from lots in the area. Well after about 7 years of getting green fucking spray paint all over my hands (bastards), I got fed up that I was paying $50+ for a tree that was fake green. So finally we just bought a pre-lit (best idea ever) fake tree. So much easier. As a side note, I wouldn’t worry about your tree dying too quickly. They are so much fresher when you cut them yourself, you really shouldn’t have an issue. I’m about 95% sure on this. LOL

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 12:51:57

      The wall is this two story monstrosity that is all blue. It is a lot of blue. But it was there when we bought the house so I didn’t have a choice. It’s fine I guess.

      We used to get trees from the lot. That green fucking paint used to piss me off. I long for the days of a fake tree. I fear the hubs will never allow it. Sigh.

      Reply

  3. Leauxra
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 11:26:36

    Your psychotic death tree is really pretty!

    I finally forced the issue last year and bought a fake tree. Now I just drink a large “nog” and spread out the limbs of the tree while watching the Nightmare Before Christmas. It is much more cheerful.

    Reply

  4. addtova
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 13:49:31

    Great Tree! The tree decorating is my favorite part of Christmas, but I am a “falalalaala” sort of person. We always listen to the charlie brown vince guiraldi cd and decorate the tree and there is inevitably a high in calories drink involved like eggnog with booze and extra calories.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 12:54:01

      Oh, you’re one of those people. 🙂

      Yeah, there was a definite lack of booze during my tree decorating. I think that might be the underlying problem.

      Reply

  5. Jen
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 14:56:14

    I am definitely allergic to that festive shit, which is why we put up my metallic, hot-pink table-top ghetto tree every year. Happy ‘Ho-lidays, y’all!

    Reply

  6. Danielle Geer (@deathbycupakes)
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 15:02:20

    You’re my sista from another mista, fo sho. My family had 4 people in it. Dan has 52 freaking first cousins. He wants to go all Griswold on me and make sure our Christmas decorations can be seen from space. I want to plug in a little fiber optic tree from Walmart and call it good.

    I’m Mrs. BahFreakingHumbug this year for many of the same reasons you are, only I’m still waiting on the phone call letting me know that my terminally ill father has passed away. It’s kind of taken the joy out of the season.

    I admire your determination to Fa, la, and la. Your tree is gorgeous!! Merry Festivus, dollface.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 12:57:25

      Totally knew we were related!

      And thanks. It was a bitch, but it sure is purdy.

      But you get your kids for your birthday/christmas this year, right? Isn’t that making you feel a bit more holly jolly?

      Reply

  7. B
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 15:43:59

    I love your tree! It looks great! My BIL had his tree up at MIDNIGHT on Thanksgiving because he was bored. I don’t know about you, but if I’m bored at midnight I sleep!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 12:58:25

      Thanks! Yeah, sleep is pretty much more important to me than anything, especially tree decorating. Oh, and in answer to that question, when I am bored I usually eat. That is why my ass is so huge. True story.

      Reply

  8. becca
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 18:05:50

    Misty your tree is GORGEOUS! Well done you, and you probably have a slight skin allergy but just rub some benadryl cream on it and it should be fine (or anything with hydro-cortisone). It’s hard to get in the mood sometimes, especially when your own memories of the holidays are anything but festive. I often feel the same way, but what always gets me in the holiday spirit is the act of giving rather than receiving. I like to donate my time to a local charity, and off course drop of toys for those kids less fortunate. It makes me feel better, and puts me in that warm holiday mood. I’m sure as we get closer to Christmas and you see the delight on the little guy’s face you’ll be just as jolly as the hubs! Happy Holidays!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 13:00:06

      Thanks! The rash is gone. It usually clears up on its own after about a day of NOT touching a tree. So no biggie.

      I do enjoy seeing my kids enjoy the holidays. I think that is what gets me through it with some amount of delight. Rather than falling back on my bah humbug default setting.

      Reply

  9. cornfedgirl
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 19:11:12

    Your tree is fabulous. I wish I was there to sing holiday music and drink eggnog with you while decorating because I know we turn that shit into a party.
    I decorated my tree last night and the Things about gave me a coronary. Thing 1 was all hyped up on Christmas Crack and Thing 2 has a glorious habit of pitching anything and everything over his head. Antique ornament from 1978…..glass bulbs….. anything he could get his baby fingers wrapped around. Ugh!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 13:02:11

      Yes, where the hell were you when I needed you to liven up this mutha, Johi! Damn, now I’m disappointed in you. Maybe you could make it up to me with a song? Perhaps? 😀

      Ah, the tossing of glass objects over one’s head. I know it well. Precious little shits, ain’t they?

      Reply

  10. lazysubculturalgirl
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 19:50:33

    I’m slowly coming around to Christmas….for years, my own memories were less than festive and I was afraid to have any expectations at all because they had been dashed so many times. So, I went in for a lot of the Bah Humbug. That changed a bit when I had kids. My favorite memory is when Oldest and Middlest were about 4 and 2.5 years old, and we had decorated the tree while they were over at Grandma and Grandpa’s. They walked in and were completely *amazed*, like here was this Christmas miracle in their living room! Middlest kept running around saying, “I can’t beweeve it. I just can’t BEWEEVE it!” I think my heart grew three sizes that evening….

    Your tree is way too pretty….I have all these grody childhood ornaments from all of us that MUST go on our tree, plus we have one of the more spindly fake tree variations. The effect is very Charlie Brown.

    Most important tradition: about the time the holidays start to make us nuts, the Hubs and I pour alcoholic refreshment and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Tis the season!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 13:05:50

      Yeah, I think the kids reactions and enjoyment of all the holiday hoopla really brought me around. I mean, without anyone pointing anything resembling a deadly weapon at my head, I actually went out and bought an Elf for chrissake! But they are so excited every time they see it. They really love the tree as well and “helping” put the decorations on it. I only allow a few grody homemade ornaments on the tree. I have a whole theme going. I’ve been collecting these Grolier Disney ornaments for years (way pre-kids) and the whole tree is covered in them. It’s a really nice effect. There are some other things strewn about as well, though. I’m not a tree nazi or anything.

      Reply

  11. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 20:31:30

    Misty, you should NOT have to decorate the tree yourself! Having said that, it really is a gorgeous tree. I love Christmas but I loathe loathe loathe stringing the lights on the tree, that can put anyone in a Christmas funk.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 13:09:57

      Well, first, I don’t HAVE to do it by myself. The hubs would totally help if I asked. But we have this sort of unspoken deal where he does all the outside stuff (stringing lights and setting up stuff in the front yard) and I do all the inside stuff. It works. But it doesn’t make it any less of a pain in the ass or make it any less likely that I will bitch and moan and complain about it whilst having a mini mental breakdown sometime in the middle of it. (Don’t tell anyone but I actually sat in the corner behind the tree for a good 10 minutes pouting and fuming when all the lights went out and I figured out I would have to take the entire bottom strand off and start over. Shhhh, our secret, k?).

      Reply

  12. elizabeth- flourishinprogress
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 23:59:26

    Working through allergies…that’s gangsta. BEAUTIFUL tree.

    Reply

  13. Wag the Dad
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 03:46:02

    Holy shit your tree looks like something in a goddamn STORE. And my mom only cried on Mother’s Day. Damn. Anyway, I feel for you, but I don’t understand why you are the one who has to decorate the tree. Maybe that is why your tree looks so AWESOME?

    I’m convinced that you can psycholanalyze people based on their trees, but I won’t rip on you, since you suffer from allergies. AND we’re showing more skin now than just the toes. YAY, Misty.

    P.S. I am not f-ing with you. You are awesome.

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 13:16:24

      It ought to look like it’s from a store after 2 fucking days working on that damn thing. Right?

      And yes, I make the tree awesome. Anyone else would just fuck it up. Did I mention that it’s because I am perfect? Ok then.

      And yeah, I knew you would like all that sexy arm skin. Rowr.

      Feel free to fuck. (that didn’t sound right . . . like I’m giving you permission to have sex. I’m apparently your pimp now, yo.).

      Anyway, I can take it. According to Elizabeth, I am gansta. So there’s that.

      Reply

  14. hoodyhoo
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 07:17:28

    Gotta second Shane — that tree is all Southern Living and shit! And I get the rash even from FAKE trees, so I think the peace-love-goodwill-to-men allergy is a very real possibility…

    Reply

  15. Grammy@gram-cracker.com/blog
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 08:21:39

    I have yet to put up our tree. Or decorated the staircase, mantle, windows. Or any of the other festive crap I usually do. I’m waiting for the damn Christmas spirit to fill my heart with the joy of the season. Shit may not get done until March…

    Reply

  16. thoughtsappear
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 10:03:28

    Beautiful tree! I hope your itchies are gone. I also recommend pouring a little Bailey’s into your hot chocolate next year.

    I like your son’s hat!

    Reply

    • mistyslaws
      Dec 08, 2011 @ 13:19:15

      Thanks! Oh, and that sounds delicious. I’m not waiting til next year for that!

      Got it at Walmart. I think it’s for women, but the boys have such big noggins it’s only a little big. Plus, it’s cookie monster. He loves it.

      Reply

  17. Paula @ thewilyweez
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 10:06:07

    Your tree is beautiful! I’m pretty sure I am allergic to peace, joy and goodwill towards men this time of year also…

    Reply

  18. Trackback: You Win Some, You Lose Some | Misty's Laws

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