Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree

I have a memory of Christmastime when I was little. In this particular memory I can remember my Dad attempting to get a HUMONGOUS tree through our garage door, down the hall, down the stairs to what would be it's resting place at the bottom in our living room. I remember pine needles everywhere, and that distinct smell of tree in the house.

I don't remember if I went to pick out the tree or not, but I can also remember my mother's face which sort of said "Holy sh!t, Marty what did you buy!?" I also remember that when we finally got the tree up the tip of it curled against the ceiling (the ceiling in that room is probably somewhere near 20 feet high.)

Apparently that was the last year we had a real tree in my parents house.

Looking back on this memory I thought it was a childhood exaggeration. You know how when you are little things seem so big or so amazing, but if you go back when you are older it's just not as cool as you remember? That's what I thought this memory was like.

Until a couple of weeks ago, when the topic somehow got brought up. Apparently this was not an exaggeration. The tree really DID touch the ceiling and curl over. Evidently my Dad was always in charge of getting the tree and on that particular year his eyes were bigger than our living room. What I did not remember from childhood is that my parents also had to use fishing line tied to windows to keep the tree from falling over, and they broke more than one tree stand in getting it to stand up.

Like I said, that was the last year we ever had a real tree.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago. Mark and I picked out our real tree and brought it home. This would be my second year of getting a real tree in my apartment. We got home just in time for me to change and head out to my book club meeting with my friend, Kim. And when I got home, I walked in to a forest of a living room. Mark and Zac had put up the tree.

The tree didn't quite touch the ceiling, but in our tiny apartment, this thing literally took up half of the living room because it was so wide. I am absolutely kicking myself for not getting a picture. We have since scaled it down a bit to actually fit in the apartment. And by scaled it down a bit I mean:

1. Turned tree on it's side... pine needles everywhere.
2. Saw tree to make it shorter. I took a turn sawing, Mark took a turn sawing, then I took a turn again.
3. Sawdust everywhere.
4. Sap everywhere. Freaking sticking everything. Including sticky King.
5. Put it back in the stand. Mark-"Are you holding it straight?" Me-"Yes" Mark-"They why is it crooked?" Me-"Because YOU keep twisting it!"
7. More sap everywhere.
8. Vacuum up pine-needles and sawdust.
9. Take a pee break. Discover a tiny spider crawling on my leg while I am peeing. OHMYGOD.
10. Make a split decision to kill spider with my bare hand because I wouldn't want spider crawling into anywhere where spiders definitely DON'T belong.
11. Brag to Rambo that I killed a spider basically as big as a tarantula with my bare hands.
12. Freak out that the spider came from the tree and picture thousands of spiders crawling all over the apartment.
13. Try to get drops of sap off of King's fur. Look up how to get sap off fur on the internet.
14. Am reminded about how the other day I was typing in "dog ate glass ornament."
15. Wonder how often mom's google things when their children do something stupid.
16. Wonder how anyone survived before Google.
17. Decide that I am grateful that Google will be available when I have kids.
18. Re-put the tree in the stand because it was slowly tilting. Mark-"DO YOU KNOW WHAT STRAIGHT MEANS!?"
19. Rearrange furniture to accommodate the huge tree.
20. Ask Mark, "What do you mean you don't want to help me decorate it!?"

And though it ended up sort of more bush shaped that tree shaped, and somewhere between ugly and adorable, I still love it.

Though I think this may be the last year we get a real tree. Apparently the "eyes are bigger than your living room" thing is genetic.



  1. Lauren this is priceless...small correction though, You and Ian went with Dad to cut the tree, David was only 2 weeks old so he and I naturally stayed home. After delivering special instructions of "just find one the same height as yourself", and "don't let Lauren and Ian run off, or get near the chainsaw"... he came home with what I thought was a giant redwood...forgot men have a problem with the real size of things. :) This was the FIRST tree Dad ever cut, although he did have a visit from Santa in his Jewish home growing up. We always spent Christmas in New Mexico prior to this. Needless to say the remainder of the story is true, and it is the ONLY real tree we have ever had, however, after my trouble with the pre-lit tree that didn't light and had to be re-strung...I may reconsider next year, but Dad won't be on his own this time.

  2. Yes it is! Here is how to make it snow on yours: