Every year, I have cut a tree from my farm and brought it to the house - some years, two trees. A white pine for the family room with all of the ornaments my kids and grandkids have made for me over the years -- and a second one in my living room, my Yule tree, all in gold, gold lights, gold tinsel and gold ornaments, to celebrate the return of the Sun. Next Friday, the day will be longer than the day before. It is a welcome change, after this daily shrinking of the daylight hours since last June. But I digress.
This year, I have been so busy that I had decided I wasn't even going to cut a tree. Last year, my granddaughter Kate was staying with me while she did her family practice rounds in a nearby town, so it was just magical to go out on a moonlit night, the two of us tramping through the deep snow, saw in my hand, and flashlight in Kate's. Knowing that there was no way to top that had more than a little to do with my lethargy about cutting a tree this year.
Androo and Clay were here working on some fences and they asked what else I wanted them to do before they quit for the day. I impulsively pointed to a small cedar and asked them to cut it for me. They did. When they brought it to the picnic table in the yard, they pointed out that it was really two trees growing together, neither of which had a trunk that would fit in the stand - far too skinny. We put shims in the holder and turned the screws in as far as they would go. Then we hauled it to my living room.
That evening (thank goodness before I had decorated it), it fell over. I put it up. It fell over again. I put it up again. It fell over again! I picked it up and threw it over the balcony rail. There! Done with that!! No tree this year.
The next night, I was in Meijer's, and they had artificial trees half price. I saw one I thought was quite nice. Why should I kill a tree every year when I could get one that would serve me for years? Having never found an artificial one that I truly liked, I thought, "Now is the time. This is a worthy tree. I shall buy Tree P." There were no tree boxes marked with the letter "P" under the bench. I went to customer service - were there any in the storeroom? No, everything was out. Were there any at the other Meijer's store on Grape Road? Long wait, finally an answer, "No, we are all out of P." I guess I am not the only one who thought it was beautiful.
I went back to get the next best thing, had it in my basket, and I balked. I do not want the "next best thing." If I couldn't have what I wanted, then I would go for cheap. There was a rather pathetic little white pine, had a few real pine cones on it, and it was dressed with some mini lights. Only $40. I took it.
I got it home, and when it was not surrounded by all of those honking big trees, it held its own in my living room quite nicely. It took me five minutes to set it up, another two minutes to figure out how to get both strings of light going, and I am happy. I may go downstairs and haul up the box with the kids' ornaments - or I may not. But I have a tree.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas. I shall.