Decorating the Tree, Then Catching It

December 20, 2012

So, as you saw here, we got a big tree. We love big trees.

Back East, we’d typically hunt for the tallest, fullest one we could find. In our old home, we had two “living areas” one where we never sat (this is where the tree went – haha.) and one where we hung out most of the time because the kids’ toys were in there.

This year, our living space is a bit different – and we generally all spend most of our time in our living room – and there’s not a ton of room for a typical Clark-style tree. So we went with a Douglas Fir which seemed taller and narrower and boasts the quintessential Christmas tree shape. Uh…it seemed taller and narrower, but, really, it is still big. Very big. Height-wise, it fits perfectly. Width-wise, we probably could have opted for something a little less…round (i.e. intrusive).

While tree hunting, we realized they don’t have the “stand-straight” tree system out here. If you don’t know what this is – it’s on the Clark family’s 10 ten favorite inventions ever list. Basically, you buy your tree, they drill a hole in the bottom, you take it home and literally pop it right onto the stand. No screwing the sides in while trying to make sure it’s straight. No wiring it to the railing or picture nails in the wall. (Oh, you don’t do that? That just happens to be a need we had when using regular stands? Figured.) No standing back and judging from all angles to make sure it’s not gonna tip. Nope. You literally pop it onto the stand and it’s perfect every time. Because the tree is up and ready to decorate within 15 seconds of getting it home, it pretty much turns regular dads into Christmas hero dads in a matter of minutes.

“No problem!” we thought, “We’ll just drill our own hole.”

And we did.

Only, see, there’s a funny thing about the stand straight system – there’s like a $500 piece of equipment that drills the hole for you in like three seconds. I’m *sure* it’s calibrated to go exactly the right depth, etc. etc.Kenny’s Ryobi power drill? Burned out the battery before he was done. He didn’t say it, but I think drilling a straight hole into the bottom of the tree was the second hardest thing Kenny’s ever done. (The first being cutting the tree down.)

No big deal – he made a hole and we could use our treasured stand straight stand! Only we made a ‘stand crooked’ and not a ‘stand straight’. And because we are sometimes dumb, we rigged it to stand straight. This entailed Kenny holding the tree straight – no matter that the stand was like 5 inches off the ground on one side! – while I shove folded up cardboard under it. Classy. (Actually, I think that’s so classy, I should spell it classee.) “Is it straight?” “No.” “Ok. Be right back.” I left to go to the recycling can to get more cardboard, folded it, shoved it under. “How about now?” “Nope.” Repeat x5.

Ta da! It’s straight. It’s actually faux straight / recipe for future disaster. Whatevs – we could move on to the next activity! It looked good for now and it seemed stable! And that’s all that matters, right? (One day we’ll learn, folks, one day we’ll learn.)

So, Kenny and the kids decorated it on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (I was doing other Christmas-y activities, and I guess he got bored waiting for me to be done and just went for it.) Queue Sunday morning. A few snowflakes fell off overnight and I was putting them back on the tree while my coffee was brewing. Kenny and the kids were still in bed.


I feel like the tree is leaning towards me.

Oh no. It’s moving. It’s actually falling on me. Right now. “KENNNNNNYYYY!” was punctuated by the crash of glass, and the pain of losing an ornament was fleeting as I drove my face and entire left arm into the tree in an attempt to catch it. I caught it. I saved it. Holy cow, I saved it! I only lost one ornament. I was fine. Crooked glasses and a some tree needles in my hair were trumped by the joy of getting to rock some pine fresh scent on my shirt (and eyebrows). (Oh, and good morning, sweetie! I know, I am the best – this is just how you wanted to wake up on this fine Sunday morning.)

We couldn’t get it to stand back up. We called ourselves a few curse words under our breath – think unintelligent donkeys  and donkeys named Jack – and I held the tree while Kenny undecorated and vice versa. Poor Kenny. He spent a lot of time decorating that tree on Saturday. The only good thing is that he really likes Christmas and the kids had fun helping, so we got to do it all over again. Haha. (Always find the positive, right?)

Kenny carried the tree back into the garage, waived his little white surrender flag and went out to get a regular tree stand. It worked beautifully! We redecorated and moved on. Lesson learned. Pictures to follow…I am writing this on a plane and haven’t uploaded them yet!

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