Don’t judge us…
…but we took our Christmas tree down on Saturday.
Saturday, the 22nd of December.
The Old Glory Tree and I had a parting of the ways, because that’s what happens when your Christmas tree decides to… oh, I don’t know!!… up and commit suicide. We tried everything, people. This isn’t our first rodeo with a live Christmas tree, because Hubs insists that REAL MEN don’t have artificial trees. Real men have pine needles and sap and chainsaws to rid themselves of various branches that are in the wrong places and possible squirrels in their house, because fake, pre-lit trees are for nursing homes.
Because of Hubs’ strong feelings about trees that can be disassembled and put into the box for next year, with nary a single pine needle to vacuum up, we know how to treat a real tree. Old Glory Tree got the same treatment as all of her predecessors throughout the years. She was tucked into that tree strand just right, with whacks here and there. She was watered religiously…
…and she refused to drink her water.
The boy and I played the classical music for her. I talked to her repeatedly, regardless of the fact that I lack a degree in clinical psychology. I did what I could. I said, “You know, if you don’t drink the water, things are going to get very ugly around here.”
And then I was all, “Drink the water! PLEASE! Drink! Your! Dadgum! Water!”
And Old Glory Tree said, “No.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened next.
She lost her pine needles, that’s what happened. She dried up like she’d been sunbathing in the Arizona dessert for six straight months without her Coppertone. Every day, she threw scads of pine needles on the floor. Every day, she was a bit crisper. Every day, I was vacuuming and sweeping, and sweeping and vacuuming, because HOLY MOTHER OF SANTA CLAUS! We had pine needles everywhere! I siphoned the water out of her stand; I put in fresh water, thinking THIS WILL SURELY DO THE TRICK.
The cats thought the fresh Christmas tree water was a dessert, and they helped themselves, but Old Glory Tree, in the midst of her stubbornness and her apparent depression, refused.
And then the unthinkable happened.
She disrobed in our living room. It was more than scads of pine needles for the baby to eat by the handfuls. (Believe me! I am now an unpaid professional at extracting dry-like-a-saltine-cracker tree needles out of my child’s mouth. I can do it with one hand, while I stir creamer into a cup of coffee with the other hand, because Thing 2 decided HEY! PINE NEEDLES! THEY’RE AS GOOD AS CAT FOOD!)
And then, suddenly, we had a Christmas STICK in our living room, and 200 trillion needles on the floor. Old Glory Tree was naked and dead, and I said to Hubs, “Take her carcass out!”
Because really? Do you think the shepherds from long ago ever thought that we’d celebrate the birth of our savior in modern times with a giant stick, wrapped in sagging lights?
I think not.
I would have taken a picture for you of our six-foot-tall Christmas stick, but it would have been like photographing a horrible crime scene where a death has taken place. Besides, I knew that if I posted a picture of Old Glory Tree, in all her deadness, on the blog, everyone would be racing to pin it on Pinterest.
So… out she went. She went to the green waste dumpster, where she’ll be converted to mulch. The two-foot-tall, artificial tree that flashes purple and red and yellow, with all the fiber optic technology, that the boy sets up in his room every year was promoted to Living Room Status.
Oh, yes! The little tree that looks like a roller rink on crack was called up from the minor league.
This is Thing 2’s FIRST CHRISTMAS, and he has a faux tree to celebrate with that would have scared the one hair right off of Charlie Brown’s head.
Carrie told me, “This is the problem with second children. Had this been THE BOY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS, what with him being THE FIRSTBORN HEIR, you and Hubs would have run out to a Christmas tree lot and purchased a replacement. This is what happens to second babies.”
Yes. Yes, it is.
Carrie and I decided that Thing 2 and her two-year-old, Kellan, are the Prince Harries in this world. (Prince Harries? Harrys? It’s late, and I’m clearly not at the top of my game with all the pluralizing.) We just hope that they grow up to be a little less in the spotlight for partying behavior.
And, if they do grow up and make us shake our heads in disappointment at all the limes and salt they’re caught buying at the grocery store, we’ll assume that the root of it all is the fact that NO REAL CHRISTMAS TREE ON CHRISTMAS DAY FOR MY VERY FIRST CHRISTMAS. Thing 2 will tell his psychologist, “My mother threw it out on the twenty-second of December. I think that’s when my life turned.”
(In all honesty, Thing 2 didn’t even look remotely worried when he realized GOOD-BYE, NAKED, SUICIDAL TREE!)
In other news, I do have to tell y’all that the boy had a little piano recital at a trendy little coffee house in the city. We love this little java hot spot, but when we go there, parallel parking is involved. That’s why I go to Starbucks; they have their own parking lot and I can get an A-, as the judges examine the way I leave my Suburban behind.
Mam and Pa, and Sister and her kids came down to listen to the boy play. Hubs and I went to hear him play as well, but I also might have been there for the homemade, baked-on-site cinnamon rolls and the chai tea latte.
Our friends, Kiley and McKinley were there, and they made short work of snagging Little H and Thing 2.
(Little H and Thing 2 each weigh 21 pounds. I’m not sure that Kiley and McKinley reached 21 pounds until 3rd grade.)
The boy’s buddy, Enzo, even came down to watch him play the piano. We floated him enough cash to buy himself a cinnamon roll, because NO ONE should be without a cinnamon roll from the little coffee shop in the city.
(And the answer is YES. The boy really IS wearing a Ralph Lauren sweater for the visually impaired.)
…Thing 2 is always the very first person in our house to volunteer to help Mama with the dishes. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Thing 2 is actually OBSESSED with our dishwasher. He climbs on it; he climbs in it; he hangs off of the top rack; he bends the little prongs that hold the plates in place. He has no conscience when it comes to physically abusing the LG dishwasher.
This is his SORRY face.
Of course, he helped me load dishes this afternoon. He can hear that dishwasher open from 2,800 yards away… with a train station and a nuclear bomb testing site conducting controlled explosions between us.
He. Loves. To help.
This afternoon, after I’d pre-rinsed some dishes in the sink, I leaned to my left to put them into the dishwasher, and this is what I found.
Thing 2 loaded it in with the plates for me. He was just doing his part to help pick up the kitchen.
Y’all have a perfectly merry Christmas…
…whether you still have your Christmas tree up in your living rooms, or whether you don’t.