I was at Home Depot this morning and scrutinized the artificial pre-lighted Christmas trees for sale. I eyed them somewhat wistfully because they seem so sensible and easy. We have never had an artificial tree. Ever. My spouse will not allow it; she would sooner buy a ready-made pie crust (and believe me, in our family that would never happen).
Not only has the Real Christmas Tree tradition been long-standing and inviolate in our home, but in recent years it has been greatly improved. How? By keeping me away from setting it up.
Frankly, the unholiest hour of the year used to be the hour it would take me to help get the tree straight in its stand. The string of invectives coming out of my mouth was longer than any string of lights on the market. In my defense, I have never been handy and my fumbling around with the saw, screwdriver, and pliers we need for our old-fashioned stand always revealed my ineptness and shot my blood pressure through the roof.
So some years back, my family wisely banned me from having anything to do with setting the tree right. My job now is to buy it, bring it home, and then recycle it after the holidays. No fine-motor skills needed for that. Perfect for someone who would have flopped working in Santa’s workshop (although I’m a huge fan of his work). Being fired from Christmas tree duty turned out to have been one of the best Christmas presents ever. Thanks, Santa!