Sunday, January 4, 2009

O Christmas Tree...

Anyone who knows Daniel and I know that there are a couple of categories in our life that always produce some kind of ridiculous story. The first category is cars. I'm sure at some point a car story will come up. But that is not what I'm writing about today. Today is the second category-Christmas trees.

I don't know what it is about our little family and Christmas trees, but the fact that we haven't just done away with them all together is a miracle. This all goes back to even before we were married. The first ridiculous tree story came when I was living with two friends after college and we decided we wanted a live Christmas tree in our apartment. So, Daniel, my two roommates and another boyfriend took our mini van (yep, you read that right. Not even married and drove a mini van. It was a real gem, too. Kind of the "conversion" version of a mini van complete with mini blinds. I'll leave it at that. The Mini Van really deserves a post all its' own!) to pick up the tree. Somehow I was not present for this event-I can't remember now where I was, but I'm sure it was work. Anyway, the tree had to be tied onto the top of the van and then carried from the parking lot to our apartment. I don't think the guys were very amused.

Then came the first Christmas tree as a married couple. I had this major hang-up about Christmas trees. I definitely wanted a real one and I really wanted it to be a fun, festive event to pick it out. Somehow, it's not really like that is it?? We got our first tree from a roadside place, happily tied it to the top of our car and headed home to put it up. Only, we didn't exactly realize the bottom branches would need to be sawed off in order for the tree to fit into the tree stand. Hmmmm....we didn't exactly have a saw, so Big Dan took to that poor innocent tree with an axe. It was quite a sight. I was pretty sure the axe was going to go through the floor. We won't even discuss the copious amounts of sap that were now all over the carpet.

Next year, we did a little better and went to a place where they cut off the bottom limbs for you (see?? at least we learn!). But somehow, the tree still did not quite fit in the tree stand. Therefore, it continuously fell over all season long. Awesome.

Also at this time in our life, we took an annual mission trip to Hungary right after Christmas. This means that when we got back from our 10 day trip, our poor tree was always so dry. It was on the verge of just bursting into flames from being so dry.

And the lights. Oh, the lights. A few years, the lights were on the tree in such a tangled mess that I just threw them away with the tree!!

So finally last year, I relented the fantasy and we got a pre-lit fake tree. It was probably the best decision for our marriage that we could have ever made. It is a big, beautiful tree and some poor person somewhere meticulously wrapped lights around every single branch. We thought we had finally slain the Christmas tree curse. Not so fast, Hulls!! Everything was great at the end of the season last year. We took down the tree, put it in the handy storage bag-with handle- and hauled it upstairs. Our attic stairs are located in probably the worst location ever-our bedroom closet. Which is another subject which probably deserves its' own post. Turns out the width of the big, beautiful tree in handy storage bag is approximately 6 inches wider than the opening to our attic. It was an act of God to get that behemoth up there. And back down for this year. Daniel and I just looked at each other when it was time to take the tree down yesterday. It was the very last thing we had to put away for the halls to be completely un-decked. We forewent the handy storage bag this year and just shoved each piece up in the attic and out of the way. We're almost positive the lights won't work next year.

I'm thinking about starting the tradition of the Christmas Ficus.

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