As I've been reading some blogs out there, I've seen quite a few pictures of Christmas trees. It got me thinking about some of my own Christmas tree experiences (some might actually call them fiascoes, but I prefer the term "experiences", thank you very much)
Here are two of them--one short, and one a bit longer:
THE SHORT ONE:
The house in which I grew up had a giant Pinon Pine right smack in the middle of the front yard. When I was in elementary school, I used to bribe my younger brothers and sister (it only took one normal-size bag of M&Ms for them all to share) to sit at a small card table with me for hours on end, coloring sheet after sheet of type paper. We'd then cut the paper and make extra long paper chains, which we would hang on the tree outside. One year we did salt dough ornaments as well. Those are good memories, although as I remember, the tree never looked all that great. Wind and snow (two elements always present in a Cedar City winter) tend to be kind of hard on paper and salt dough I guess. (Kudos to my mom for letting us put a bunch of tacky ornaments right in the middle of the front lawn year after year after year)
THE LONGER ONE:
A few years ago, I bought my first ever live tree (we were a "go into the mountains and cut your own Christmas tree kind of family", so I didn't have any tree-buying experience). I couldn't justify spending a whole lot of money for something that I was just going to toss in a month, and I couldn't fit anything all that big on the top of my car anyway, so I ended up with a tree that would have made the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree look like the king of the forest.
My tree that year was so thin that no matter what I tried, I couldn't get it to stand upright in the the tree stand. To solve this, I put my high school yearbooks under half of the tree stand. That made the tree stand crooked, which made it so the actual tree was straight. Brilliant! Unfortunately, (as we will find out later), there was some leakage from the stand, which warped my yearbooks from my freshman and senior years at good old CHS. Luckily, the damage wasn't complete, and I can still see all the pictures. More importantly, I also still have a written record of all the people who wanted to me have a nice summer, who wanted me to K.I.T.*, and who thought I was
As I lovingly took the tree down at the end of that Christmas season, I discovered that I’d accidentally bleached a nice little patch of carpet in the middle of our living room. How did that happen, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. As I remember, the nice salesman at the Christmas tree farm had told me that a solution of bleach and sugar mixed in with the water would keep my prize tree more fresh. Following his advice, for about four weeks I religiously added sugar and bleach to my tree stand. What my salesman friend neglected to mention was that I should BE SURE to check my tree stand at home and make sure that there were no cracks or holes in the base.
And this is where we get to THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF 2003. About a week after I discovered the bleach patch in our living room, carpet installers came to our place to replace all the carpet in the room. My then-landlord had already scheduled the replacement, (the carpet had seen its day even before the bleach stain) and so I never got busted for the bleach fiasco.
Having learned my lesson, I purchased an artificial tree at the after Christmas clearance sales that very year. Since then, I've had Christmases that were pretty much tree-fiasco** free.
Don't even get me started on gingerbread houses though . . .
*K.I.T. = Keep in Touch
**Don't think for even a moment that these two tales are the only Christmas tree-drama stories I've experienced. I didn't even get to the year that I used a Ginsu knife to make my 8-foot tree fit under my 7-foot ceiling (Hey--they cut through aluminum cans, right?). I'll save that story for next year.