Ce Soir ou Jamais

tonight I write...or never

Monday, December 12

The nightmare before Christmas

I have a thing about the Christmas tree. The thing is this: I loathe it. Pine needles and icicles and endless strands of lights. Not my bag. My brother-in-law owns a large Christmas tree lot. Every year I am offered a tree- not for free, mind you as he generously offers his condo in Whistler, BC to us gratis- but still, it's a nice offer. Except for the fact that I loathe the Christmas tree. And I loathe a live tree even more than I do so the fake. "Why is that?", you ask. "What kind of grinch are you?" Well, first of all, I'm not a grinch, I'm a Jew.(Non practicing, but I threw it out there for you to contemplate. And by the way this post is about a tree, not religion.) Second of all, all that work to put the thing up for your neighbors and family to ooh and ahh over and have their photos taken in front of for it then to be torn down 3 weeks later? Why? I'd rather put my decorating dollars to use redoing my dining room, or choosing area rugs for the living room, or buying yet another set of dishes we won't use. (But they looked so pretty!)

The tree has never been my thing until Darian came along. We decided we would give her the best of both worlds and she has opted for the tree and the baby Jesus. Fine by me- I'm glad to know she's believing in *something*. So anyway, back to the tree. When she was old enough to really get into Christmas, around her third year, (Do the first and second really count? I mean, the first one she was a baby and not conscious of much of anything that had to do with the spirit of giving aside from us giving her love and milk and more love-OK, you get it. The second one she was just into the cardboard tubes from wrapping paper and sticky bows.) So when the third one came around, you could see her eyes light up the day after Halloween when Target and Starbucks decorated their stores with holiday lights and all things that signify good cheer. We was gettin' a tree.

When choosing a tree, one has several options. First image that comes to my mind is the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Budgets were strict back then, but not that strict. My husband found a man selling artificial nobles in a parking lot behind a K-Mart and decided the price of $10 with stand included was too good to pass up. 8 feet of artificial glory was to be ours, some assembly required. And when they said assembly, they meant that you had to fashion the stand from a few pieces of metal.

From that first year until this we must prepare for the building of the tree stand. It's an arduous chore; one my husband does not necessarily look forward to, but revels in as it's completion is a testament to his skill and determination. The first year seemed like a lot of work- pliers, then vice grips, and finally beating it together with a rubber mallet. But something not so magical happens each year that the tree sits in storage. It plots to make the next year's assembly more painful than the previous. Last year, our neighbor offered his plasma cutter, but that might damage our hardwoods. After the fight and the tree was up, we'd ooh and ahh and take pictures in front of it and invite over the neighbors and look at it lovingly from the street.

This year, after needing to break out the blow torch and arc welder, my husband shook the stand with aggression, the tree almost busting through our living room window, and shouted, "That's it! No more Christmas trees! EVER!!"

"But what's Christmas without the tree, Daddy?" cried Darian.

"It's called Hanukkah."


  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger Lora said…

    I loved that. I have to share it with my SIL who married a Jew and promised to raise their children Jewish. She saidly missed the dressings of Christmas.


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