Sunday, December 2, 2007

Oh #@&*! Christmas Tree...


It was "Tree Day" in the Goddess' household. Today, we put up and decorated our Christmas Tree.

And a mighty fine tree it is, too. For the first time in many years, however, our tree did not come from our favourite local tree farm... Yes, we broke with the "home-grown" tradition, which, I confess, made me feel nearly overwhelmed with guilt...

Even more overwhelming, however, was the feeling that I was slowly suffocating, and ready to explode with a spasm of coughing-- yes, folks, I'm sick again. THIS time, I've apparently got bronchitis. Which is only natural, I suppose, since Child Number Two has it, as well. What good are we, unless we're a matching pair? Yesterday, I dragged her in to our blessed pediatrician, who, being a Saint-Among-Men, has office hours on WEEKENDS (don't get me started. He's WAY up there in my rank of deities, along with Mr. Clean)... He listened to Child Number Two's little wheezebox of a chest, prescribed hefty antibiotics AND a jolt of steroids, then turned to me. "YOU sound like you could use a little help, yourself, " he said, whipping out his prescription pad... My God, with an opening line like THAT, how could I not love him??

Anyway. Even though we sounded as though we've got The Plague, Child Number Two and I managed to struggle out with the rest of the family to hunt down The Goddess' Family Christmas Tree... But this year, rather than hiking into the bushes and freezing our delicate bits off, we opted for "the easy way out".

We hit one of my favourite places in the whole wide world, Sheridan Nurseries. And let me tell you, people, true to form, Sheridan had some of the most exquisite Christmas Trees for sale that I have ever. seen. in. my. life.

My old friend and gardening expert extraordinaire, Bill, steered us in the direction of the Fraser Firs, which were suspended from stout ropes from the ceiling (so that we could have a good view of the entire tree), and left us to our choosing. It only took about ten minutes for The Husband to pick out a spectacular eight-and-a-half footer... and the next thing we knew, that tree was tied, bagged, freshly cut, and ATTACHED TO THE ROOF OF THE LOSER CRUISER!! Yes, Bill and the Boys do "full service", and I can't even begin to tell you the joyous feeling of sitting in a nice, warm car, while someone else monkeys with the sailor knots out in the fierce, biting cold. Usually, it's just the KIDS who are in the car, and The Husband is cursing at me to "PULL THE ROPE TIGHT, FOR CHRISSAKE, then throw it back over..." All that fancy-schmantzy lashing of the tree to the roof-rack is one of the lowest points of my holiday season (right down there with putting up the Christmas Lights), made even more miserable by the worry that certain parts of my anatomy have frozen solid, and may be just about to depart my person.

We got the enormous tree home, and crammed it, a la Griswold, through our front door, and propelled it into the living room. We jammed it down into the old plastic stand that we purchased about ten years ago, gave it lots and lots of lovely, warm water to drink, and allowed it to thaw and "settle its branches".

The smelllllll of a fresh Christmas Tree is like nothing else in the world. The aroma practically speaks to me, people. I located a few cds of my favourite Christmas music, and popped them in the player. The girlies and I hauled the boxes and boxes of beautiful ornaments I've collected over the years, out of the storage space in the basement. And then, we began to decorate.

The lights went on first, followed by the strands and strands of multi-coloured beads. And then, the ornaments... some of which my husband and I had bought on our travels, but most of which have been given to us by friends and relatives over the past decade-and-a-half. Each one has a memory attached to it, each one reminds me of someone special. On the very top of the tree, we perched the luminously robed Saint Nicholas (Father Christmas, to us!) who "oversees" our holidays each year. He was a gift from one of my husband's elderly aunts, and one of the most beautiful wedding presents we received.

After about an hour, the girlies tired of our task, and went off to the kitchen, in search of a snack. I was left alone with the tree, and had stood back to admire... The last thing I remember thinking was, "I should really take a few photos, before the sun goes down, and the light changes..."

And then, it happened.

The tree began to fall forward.

I didn't have time to be panic stricken, all I could think about was my beloved Saint Nicholas (and his china head!), and the ornament I had pressed Child Number One's chubby little baby handprint onto, and the hand-painted glass balls that a dear friend sends me from Atlanta every year, and... and... and...

And I couldn't even shout for help. My bronchitis has also resulted in laryngitis, so the "shriek" that came out of my mouth was nothing more than a faint croak... It wasn't until the **CRASH!!** and the tinkly sound of glass breaking that the rest of the family came running.

I wept openly, as the tree was righted, and the damage assessment began... My husband ran for the shop-vac, to clean up all of the water and glass, and I began gathering all the bits and pieces.

AMAZINGLY... Only five or six ornaments were actually BROKEN... And only two of the beloved ones, beyond repair. Child Number One's handprint broke cleanly, so I was actually able to salvage it with a little TLC and a lot of crazy glue... Everything else has been patched up.

My children were a bit bowled-over by the whole thing. I'm certain the sight of their mother in tears must have shocked them. However, no one was more shocked than I was, because as it happens, the tree fell on ME. I've got the massive gobs of pine-sap clumped in my hair to prove it. Undoubtedly, though, it was because I broke the tree's fall, that so many of the ornaments DIDN'T break... Thank heavens. Even dear old Saint Nick made it through, without a scratch.

After we had finished the cleaning and sorting and repairing, The Husband was sent out into a snow squall, with the instruction to find the biggest, goddamn cast-iron Christmas Tree stand he could get his hands on. I sent him back to Sheridan, confident that Bill would help him, once he was told that his best customer had been very nearly killed-off by the tree he had sold us...

When he finally returned, bearing the new tree stand, he and I strode into the living room, where Child Number Two and Wee Three were happily playing...

Mother: (croakily, but with an air of ferocious efficiency) Right, kiddos, outta here... Please take your toys and go and play in your playroom. Your dad and I are going to try and put this tree up again, and there is probably going to be a lot of swearing going on. You need to be elsewhere...

Child Number Two: (with wide-eyed innocence) You mean like F@#&!! SH*#!!! D@*#!!!!???

Mother: (reeling a bit, but eventually finding the words) Yes.... yes. Exactly like that. And you clearly shouldn't be here to witness any more of it...

Both children scampered out of the room, giggling like little maniacs, and slammed the door of their playroom behind them.

I turned to my husband, whose mouth was still hanging open:

Mother: (grimly) Well, we're clearly doing a STELLAR job with THAT one...

The new stand has worked like a charm... so far. The tree is laden with decorations, and glimmering softly in the room beside me. I'm about to make myself an EXTREMELY large hot toddy, with some of our very best brandy...

Because, Goddammit, after today, I deserve it.

Deck the halls, everybody...

But, beware the Tippy Tannenbaum.

9 comments:

shawn said...

I came home from an absolutely sh&%#y day to read this entry and I HOWLED ...

Thank you ... the image of you getting flattened by the tree and kidlet #2 repeating Mommy's expletives ... UTTERLY HILARIOUS !!!

Take care of your bronchitis girl ... and get better.

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face tonight. I needed it.

SciFi Dad said...

Ever heard of tethering? Works like a charm for trees, bookshelves, and just about anything tall that you womenfolk like to laden with ornamental items too numerous (and apparently weighted) to describe.

An inconspicuous piece of fishing line, around the trunk, and tied to a curtain tieback (because I know your tree is near a window).

Candygirlflies said...

Hiya, SciFi!!

You and MTM really need to come down for a visit, because we've actually re-arranged the living room... The piano is now where the tree used to stand, and so the hook we used to tether the tree to (secured in a beam in the ceiling) is on the opposite side of the room...

The fantabulous new tree stand is one of those pivoting-jobs, and is doing the trick nicely (so far, knock wood). I've leaned the tree in towards the wall slightly... I don't want to tether it to anything in the wall or ceiling this year, because, believe it or not, the tree weighs more than I do. It's a monster. Beautiful, but very, very heavy. I know. It landed on me...

Hope you can come and see us soon!!

xo CGF

Nan said...

The what? Tipsy Tannenbaum? Peanut butter works wonders for getting tropical tree sap out of hair. Might work for pines too? Yeah, I know, you really need peanut butter on your hair, on top of everything else...

painted maypole said...

"Tippy Tannenbaum" tee hee hee.

and your poor hair. and ormanments. and children's knowledge of swear words. ;)

you know this is a story that will be told each year, and become just as beloved as the ornaments you lost.

Candygirlflies said...

Hah--yeah, thanks Nan... It was definitely ME who was the tipsy one, heading off to bed last night!

And the peanut butter cure works for sure. Discovered it a few years ago when one of the kids worked a big wodge of plasticine into her hair. BIG fun.

Hope you're feeling better, too!

xo CGF

mrinz said...

Well I never knew about peanut butter - must keep that one stored away for future use.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I read your post! The Christmas season has its 'ups and downs' for sure. I am so pleased that not too many of your ornaments were damages and that St Nick retained his head.

I hope that the winter ailments leave your house soon - you have had your fair share of them in the last month or so.

Your doctor is a real gem - very very rarely do they ever look at the Mum and ask how you are - I have had it happen only once or twice in all the 'child sickness' years.

Leeann said...

LOL! Nothing I say today can beat that! Wow. What a sh!tty day.

shauna said...

Oh, this post was altogether HILARIOUS! I'm so sorry the tree fell on you -- I hope you have recovered. Just be grateful--you've created one more wondrous Christmas memory your children will cherish for all time (in a remember-when-mom... kind of way). Teehee.

 
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