Making sure the 7 foot artificial tree stays in the storage container that is too small to house it.
Mister who invented Duct Tape, This Bud's for you!!
Somehow I talked my husband into letting me throw out our old artificial tree last year after Christmas with the "plan" of purchasing a new one on clearance. And then when I went to shop for the clearance Christmas tree, the stores were already sold out.
And then I forgot.
Two weeks before Christmas the oldest monkey was fussing that we really needed to put up our tree, so I sent her out to the garage to find the box. It had housed an artificial tree that served us well over the last 11 years. And it too was held shut by the trusty duct tape. But alas, the box could not be found. And I hear a little bell in my brain reminding me that maybe, just maybe, last year I disposed of this tree. I couldn't remember for sure, so I called my sister to see if I could have really been this barbaric. You see, when I do anything major, like throwing out a Christmas tree, or throwing out holy socks, I call my sister to let her know just because someone needs to know what I am doing. Someone needs to care. So she humors me and listens to all my goings on.
She chuckled and said she did remember the day I threw out the tree. Yes, it was gone. And sadly, we were not in a position to fund a new tree just before Christmas. Before majorly flipping my lid, ideas started swirling in my head. Ideas like "paint a tree on the wall" and "make a tree out of construction paper, complete with fringed branches". Ideas like "let the children have a hay day with the arts and crafts supplies. We can repaint next year". And then I remembered there is a magnificent thing called "Freecycle". I am a member of this group! So I turned my computer on and went to my Freecycle page, and sent out a plea for a free Christmas tree. It went something like this: Wanted: Artificial Christmas tree. Doesn't have to be fancy. Prefer all pieces present.
That afternoon I got a reply from someone who had a 7 foot tree waiting for a new home!!! But it needed a stand. I knew my hubby would fashion something for a stand, even if it was made from potatoes and a coffee can. I set up a time for pick up, cleaned out my trunk, and loaded the 3 monkeys in the car to go get our new tree! We brought the tree to its new home. And it sat in its box for about a week awaiting a stand. My hubby didn't concoct a stand, for I found one at Hobby Lobby. The Saturday before Christmas my oldest begged and begged to put up the tree. I was not feeling the greatest, so I supervised with my head resting on the arm of the couch. I watched as she gingerly took all the branches out of the tote and separated them into their color coordinated families. I watched as she started assembling the pieces into a tree. I watched as this tree started to take up all of the space in my living room. We live in a modest sized house. The way I had moved the furniture to make room for the tree to be centered in front of the picture window was not going to work. The tree was covering a couch cushion from both couch and love seat: across from each other on opposite sides of the room!!! When she stated 7 foot tree, I thought "great! We have 8 foot ceilings!" But I failed to think about the width that accompanied the height. oops. I told my monkeys, "Daddy's not going to like this tree." And as the next row of branches was added to the tree I said, "Daddy's going to make us take this tree down." And when I could no longer see my book case or window, I exclaimed, "This is not going to work! This tree is bigger than our house!" And that's when my daughter put her foot down. "Mom, I want a Christmas tree! We can live with this tree for a week! Daddy's just going to have to deal with it!" And that was the end of the argument. She was working diligently on the tree when all of a sudden she threw a branch and screamed. She had seen a spider. I got a tissue and captured the spider as she freaked out. She yelled, "No wonder that lady wanted to get rid of her spider infested tree for free!" I had a little shiver run up and down my spine as well, so I got out the vacuum, hooked up the hose adjustment, and proceeded to vacuum all of the remaining branches. Then started laughing and praying the tree wasn't really infested. She finished putting together the tree, and applied the lights, and then helped her brother put on the ornaments. The tree was indeed a beautiful tree. I really think the only reason the previous owner got rid of it was because it needed a stand. The color was gorgeous. The branches were full of life and not brittle. It was a great tree. The next day I figured out how to arrange the furniture so we would be able to be in the living room with the tree without having to sit under the tree. We enjoyed our treasure for not only one, but two weeks. And then I decided we didn't live at the North Pole, so it was time to take it down. I did that deed myself one night when the oldest monkey and my hubby were gone hunting, and the little monkeys were in bed sleeping. I don't know how I did it, but somehow all the branches got stuffed back into the little tote the tree came to me in. But it was so full the lid wouldn't stay on. I thought about waking up the little ones and having them sit on the box. But then I figured I couldn't store them in the garage with the tree for the next year. So I found the solution. With each strip applied to the tote, I smiled and said a little blessing for the inventor of Duct Tape. And finally, the tote was sealed and ready to be stored. Did you see the little black thing on the floor by the tote? Can you tell what it is? A mouse. My son thought it was really funny to plant his rubber varmints he received from Santa all through the house. I found a spider on the piano. But I'll save the rubber spider story for another day.
- ▼ 2010 (31)