It's a good thing that show is so very endearing to me because I am officially the recipient of my very own Charlie Brown tree.
Complete with needles that fall off every time you touch a branch.
That would be LOTS of falling needles.
And 40 fingers touching them no matter how many times we explain it. "Now, now. If you continue to touch those limbs, we're going to opening gifts on Christmas day beneath the Christmas stump, not the Christmas tree because there simply won't be any tree left to speak of."
Seriously, it's that bad.
Our December schedule looks like a football team's play book right now. There are scribbles and scratch-outs, lines and arched arrows all OVER the page. Add eraser marks, pencil ins, and lots and lots of sloppy handwriting (including mystery abbreviations) and, well, welcome to December at our house. Please, do grab yer self a wassail but then step out of the way before someone plows you over on their way out the door in a mad rush.
IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS! (I know this, btw. I'm just yelling it to my own self in case I haven't heard me say it one of the 23 other times I've yelled it.)
Tree hunting was done on Monday the 6th. Couldn't be rescheduled for any reason except a rainy downpour. And it didn't rain. But it was 19º (all together now, "Brrrrr!")
We arrived at our favorite tree farm ready to make a quick weather-spurred decision, then planned to hurry into the Christmas cabin where the kids always look forward to choosing a candy cane from the decorated tree, and delight in sharing cups of hot cocoa.
Always in the past,that is.
Not this time, uh hem.
This time, we were pointed in the direction of the white spruce trees. Turned out there were only two (count 'em) acceptable possibilities and I use that "acceptable" word ever so lightly. Thing is, it was waaaaay too cold to get picky. Then again, "Honey, let's walk back to that corner where we usually find our tree."
"Whaa??? You want us to walk all the way back into the next field? But,....it's f-a-r-r-r," groaned my hubby, teeth chattering.
Why yes it was far.
I'm not heartless. I do listen to reason.
You don't think I'd make my kids take a 10 minute walk in the frigid 19º temps just to find the "perfect" tree, do you? Goodness, no.
Why, I let the youngest ride on the tree cart. ;)
After a very long and cold stomp through the evergreens in the next field, I concluded that, "Yep, you were right. Should have went with one of the two beauties we saw up front."
Hubby's eye began to twitch just a little. I'm sure it was just the cold, not like I was plucking on his last nerve at that point or anything.
"Oooo...kaaaay. Let's all hike back to the front and decide on one of those trees," I announced.
(insert exaggerated sighs and the sound of angry boots a stomping.)
We cut down our "beauty" and headed for the processing area to have the loose needled shaken off and the branches wrapped in twine. While the young man loaded our tree into the back of hubby's pick-up, we took the kids into the cabin for their treats.
"Nope, don't have any hot cocoa. I only make that on the weekends."
Me, surprised, "Oh. So,...you don't have any cocoa then today?"
The cabin attendant, gathering I didn't get it the first time, replied.
"That's right. No cocoa. What with today being Monday and all, and me only serving cocoa on the weekends."
The kids frowned.
I might have growled.
I definitely blushed (not that you could see it from behind my wind-whipped cheeks).
The kids quickly chose a candy cane (no doubt fearing they needed to move quickly before it was decided they were only available on the weekends as well).
And since our December schedule is so full, we not only had to get our tree on the 6th, but it also had to go up that day as well. By the time we got around to stringing lights, it was 7:30pm. Now, this is usually a major project in our house. Uh, nope, not this year. I didn't string those lights on, so much as I lassoed a tree because within 10 minutes, they were ALL on (however they landed). As the kids began to put ornaments on the tree, I began to hear the undesired "ping ping" of needles dropping. Lots and LOTS of needles dropping.
"Oh for crying out loud. This tree is dead."
We've never had a dead tree for Christmas.
Well sure, all live trees are technically dead once you cut them down.
But I'm talking Smokey the Bear assigning a fire hazard rating to our Tannenbaum.
Deader than dead, dead.
There was a significant drought here in central Indiana this year. I think this tree was on the long end of a short root because clearly, it's hurting.
And the worst part of all? When they twined it, a very large bough snapped at the bottom of the tree (which has never happened). We wanted to remove another bough to compensate before placing it in the tree stand, but that would have left us with a very lopsided tree. So we opted to just get it into the stand "as is" and deal with its flaws. Only,...
Since we didn't remove the additional bough, the trunk wouldn't slide into the tree stand properly. Instead, the large, low bough pushed the tree into a bit of a recline. The result? Not an equilateral triangle, I assure you (which, btw, is the desired shape of a good Christmas tree). No, ours would be more like a right angled triangle, not so attractive if you know what I mean. And just in case you don't know what I mean, take a little look-see, would ya? Trust me, the photo doesn't do it justice.
Isn't she a beauty? Don't feel bad. I don't think so either.
Good thing this season isn't all about the tree. God came near and Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us and we celebrate His birth together with all believers everywhere. Now that is reason to rejoice.
Have a blessed Christmas filled with love, laughter, and the peace that passes all understanding.
Live wise in Him!