I've always loved Christmas trees. I'm so very near-sighted and a christmas tree with sparklely lights is one of the few things that is just as beautiful with my glasses off. I love to lie on the ground (or preferably the couch) with my head practically in the tree and look up at the lights. Especially after several cups of Christmas Tea. To me its all about peace and beauty and ... calmmmmm. Glorious calm. And quiet. Which is the very thing that made what happened to my brother so ironic.

Actually, its what happened to my father. Something DONE by my brother, although by the end he had certainly had an experience ...

My father is a sweet man. VERY calm. Even tempered. Full of jokes and stories and smiles. And occassionally devilish pranks, but mostly the other good stuff I just mentioned. Which is why my brother was shocked, absolutely SHOCKED, to walk around the corner of the house he lived in (next door to my parents) to find my father apoplectic on the front-sidewalk. Spitting and flailing and shrieking to beat the band! Like a man possessed!

Which is indeed what my brother first thougtht. But, while demon-possession would explain the moment, its not something one generally expects to see in the front yard in the middle of a sunny afternoon. He went with his second thought, which was that my Dad had snapped like a twig in some sort of mental breakdown. Apparently, to him, that means you approach the crazy person carefully, taking great pains to speak slowly and loudly.

This only infuriated my father more! He jerked up the scrub-cedar-tree my brother had laying beside the door, and tossed it into the yard. Then he kicked it! And kicked it again!

Ahhh! The light dawned! My brother tried to explain to my father that he was sorry he had cut down the little-cedar-tree without asking. He had thought it was practically a weed, but if it were that tremendously important to Dad that he would pay for it and replace it. That he had never in a million years thought Dad would mind if he whacked down a scrub-cedar to use for a wreath!


Dad, softly, "What do you mean, you're going to use it for a wreath?"

Brother "Well, technically, Charlie is going to use it for a wreath. But you like him. I didn't think you'd mind. He's taking a wreath-class and needed some greenery and ..."

Dad, interupting "So. THIS isn't the tree I sent you to pick out for your Mother?" (My mother couldn't go that year, but has been known before and since to visit SEVERAL tree lots and spend hours and hours and sometimes days picking the only acceptable tree in the state. There was a reason my Dad didn't go pick out the tree for her, HE had to live with her)

My brother laughed so hard he couldn't stand up! Literally! He collapsed in a shaking giggleling gasping choking mess on the front steps. (Ten years later I still laughed outloud at the thought of my Dad thinking he'd try to pass that tree off to Mother! ) After my brother regained his composure, which took several minutes by all accounts, he led my Dad around to the back patio where the Christmas tree was -- A ten foot blue-spruce in its prime! Nothing short of magnificent! He had it in a stand so it would fluff out after being tied-up for the trip home. He wanted it to be in the best shape when Mother saw it!

I hadn't thought about that in ages, until Earthgirl was posting about letting her tree-troubles (Don't miss the pictures of the tree) . I suspect that she's more ... calm ... than my mother would have been!


Lucy, I probably should take a lesson from your mother, but instead we are "creating memories" for the boys to quote my husband. This morning for a total different reason (despairing over the way my son unloads the dishwasher), my husband said he recommends me for sainthood. I need another female in this household. Every day I add something to the tree, trying to make it look better. Yesterday I bought lots of bright red berry branches to help fill the gaps. The branches are so big that ornament hooks don't work! I'm glad, though, it reminded you of your story. I can just picture your father kicking that sorry little cedar tree.

Earth Girl | 12/01/2006 - 12:29 PM

Lucy, once again, my kids want to know what I'm laughing at? And why am I always laughing when I look at this page???

I can just see your dad pitching a fit. LOL!

Leni | 12/01/2006 - 01:21 PM

Ya know, the more I look at that picture, the more it kinda reminds me of a SouthWestern tree. Sort of cactus-ish. Which might not be bad.

Make some stuffed-felt boots in Christmas colors? And danglely red jalapenos? Which may or may not be your type of thing.

Since the tree is huge, a tip from the scale-freak -- If your balls are too small to look "right" then hook three onto the same ornament hook and the cluster of balls will probably be in scale to the branches.

I do think the tree is kinda cute. In a "the males did this tree trying to please me" sort of way :)

Lucy | 12/01/2006 - 01:48 PM

You're a genius! I'm changing the little bulbs I put on right now. I'll post another picture when I'm finished, if I ever finish. When the house is dark and the tree lights are turned on, it doesn't look too bad from a distance, which is where we view it since it is on the porch! I may just have to put up a little tree inside the house with the delicate white porcelin ornaments I purchased over 30 years ago and the antique ornaments from my grandmothers.

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