So! Where did we leave off, yesterday?
Ah, yes. Dried up reminders of our first holiday as a married couple…
Around Thanksgiving I had gotten it in my head that our very first Christmas tree was going to be the real deal. Like, trudging out into snow with only a hacksaw and our nauseatingly adorable newlywed Christmas spirit, real. (Honey, when you see a Google search for “hacksaw” in our internet history, know that it was for the purpose of verifying the correct word for this post. You haven’t done anything that bad.) Well before we knew it we had hit mid-December and Ross and I realized we had neither a hacksaw nor proper “snow trudging” footwear. So, we decided to get real and drive the 3.7 miles to the tree sale at a local elementary school. Under 10 minutes to a lot full of pre-cut trees and spunky volunteers with free cider? Don’t mind if I do.
I was getting pretty fired up about all of the tree-trimming we would be doing that evening until Ross hit me with:
“You know we can’t decorate the tree tonight. We’ve gotta let it thaw, first.”
And I’m all, “Thaw? Are we getting some sort of pine-scented popsicle? What are you talking about, Stedman?”
And he’s all, “That’s what we always did when I was growing up. We’d go get our tree, bring it back, set it up and let it kinda thaw out over night.”
This, my friends, is where our 20-something year long family holiday traditions began to collide like those spray-painted cars in a demolition derby.
“Are you kidding me?!” I asked. “If 5-year-old me went with my family to get a Christmas tree, brought it home, set it up, and my parents told me I couldn’t hang the macaroni ornament I made last year…I would seriously lose it. ”
“You’re losing it right now, Katie.”
After a desperate phone call home to confirm “the way it should be done”, I found out that my parents apparently had made me wait each year to let the tree limbs loosen up before we started tossing tinsel everywhere. Looks like my childhood memory is selective.
After my slight tantrum had passed, we drove to the tree sale, found “the one” and strapped it to the roof of my Corolla. We didn’t anticipate how the twine situation would affect Ross’ driving abilities,
but we made it work and arrived home to tackle the next thing standing between us and Yule tide success – the stairs.
To get up to our condo one must climb either four flights of indoor stairs or a slightly terrifying two flights of outdoor stairs. And I know, I know, you’re rolling your eyes and playing your tiny air violin right now. But what you don’t appreciate is that after all of the progress you made climbing up the stairs to get inside our door, you then go back downstairs to get to any real usable space in our condo. And we were gonna do that with a Christmas tree. (And by we, I of course mean Ross.)
The next step was getting the tree set up in the $12 plastic stand we found leftover at our local Ace Hardware. It didn’t take long to figure out that this tree was not standing in anything without loosing some serious branches near the trunk. Our lack of hacksaw meant we’d have to MacGyver this thing and like you saw yesterday, the carnage speaks for itself.
One way or another, we got that tree upright and we played the “A little to the left. Nope. Your other left.” game as Ross found the perfect place for our Tannenbaum.
And I’ll admit it to all of the Interwebs, Ross (and my parents) were right. The tree had to “thaw” and we let it do so overnight. After a next day disagreement on the proper way to string lights, we finally trimmed our tree.
He even let me put the star on top.
And despite all of the vacuuming we’ve done between then and now, we’re still finding pine needles.