Monday, December 05, 2005

Dick the Halls with Balls of Holly

I am all about the live Christmas tree, but this year really tested my resolve in that arena. It was 30 degrees Saturday, I was not feeling real chipper, and our usual tree place did not have large (8-9') blue spruce or Frasier firs and I am not a fan of the Scotch pine. So we went to a little stand in nearby Grafton and its sole proprietor, who happened to be the uncle of one of my students, said he'd unwrap, thaw out, and "get ready" a few big Frasiers for us if we came back in a few hours.

Well, we did, and basically bought a tree sight unseen as this guy's idea of getting a tree ready for us was to unwrap it and lay it on the pavement.

Big mistake.

We got the tree home, hoping it would "drop" and assume the traditional Christmas tree shape: graduated tiers of branches going from small to large as you look from top to bottom. Not this tree. This tree stubbornly held on to a more rounded, compact shape. I kept looking at it, wondering what it reminded me of. And finally, I had it.

It was a 9-foot evergreen phallus.

My husband and I kept trying to judiciously trim it and help it along, but it stubbornly refused to become the familiar Christmas tree shape. We both bitterly complained and tossed epithets its way. We begrudgingly strung lights and did our best to put a star at its...tip.

Our 20-year old son valiantly tried to jolly us along and in true Linus Van Pelt fashion (a la "A Charlie Brown's Christmas Special") tried to make the best of this ridiculous tree. Finally, though, he lost his patience. With us. "Stop being so fucking negative about this goddam Christmas tree!" he said. "Once we get our ornaments and tinsel on it, it will look great. Now shut the hell up."

Overcome with the sense of the absurd, we decided to run with it. The usual "back of the tree" ornaments (you know those! every family has them!) are now at the front. All handmade ornaments are in prominent places. Sam's Cheerio and pipecleaner wreath? Front and center! The tongue depressor Rudolph? Eye level, baby! The black Santa from the dollar store? Come on! Right under a light and in the front!

So, if you want to see a major pine erection, come to northeast Ohio for the holidays. It's in my living room, and it's illuminated.


  1. Anonymous8:43 PM

    I laughed out loud! I will have to swing by to take a look. It very well may be as close as I get to such a well trimmed howdoyado this season.

  2. Laughing. A lot.

  3. Nance, I do love you! Laughing really hard here!


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