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Tuesday
Dec182012

The Too-Tall Tree

We put a hole in our ceiling with the Christmas tree. My holiday enthusiasm was bigger than the reality of my space. Chris, the boys, and I marched a 23-foot tree into our house then tried to erect it in a room with 18-foot ceilings. I blame the tape measure.

We don’t have a large family room, but we have high ceilings. Every year, the Friday after Thanksgiving, I head to Ault’s Christmas Trees and look for Leo (Grandpa) or his son. “Show me your prettiest tall-skinny. You know I’ll make a quick decision,” I cheerfully request. They always remember me, and often take me to the tree earmarked for Leo himself. Or so they tell me.

I don’t know what happened this year. We measured, chain-sawed the trunk, trimmed branches, removed bird nests and squirrels, and re-measured. Then we called neighbors soliciting help to carry the tree into the house. Everyone we called was either heading out the door for a prior commitment, “I hate to be rude, because I’m running late…but good luck!” Or they were nursing an injury (probably from helping us last year).

The tree was heavy. “This one seems bigger than last year’s,” my husband said as he shouldered the majority of the weight.

“Duke! Are you even lifting?” I yelled to our 13-year-old.

“Redmond, get out of the way! If we drop it, you’ll get hurt…real bad!” I shouted to our 7-year-old.

We made it into the house, navigated doorways and a ceiling fan, and began the hoist after Chris counted to three. Before we knew it, we had a giant tree bowed and stuck…in the wrong spot.

“Everybody stay calm. Don’t let go of the tree,” Chris said.

Frankly, I think we all could have walked away and that tree would still be in the same place, securely wedged between the ceiling and floor.

There was counting, grunting, pushing, and barks of, “Hold it! Watch the lamp! The fan! Duke, lift! Redmond, move!” We laid the tree on the floor and stood for a few seconds in silence.

“I’ll get the clippers,” I nonchalantly offered as I walked toward the garage.

“There’s a hole in the ceiling!” Chris called after me.

We trimmed a few feet off the tree, successfully erected it in the proper spot, and I doled out the maximum dose of Aleve to all family members that evening. The neck and back pain were gone the following morning.

Was it worth it? We think so. Christmas isn’t about a tree, or outdoor lights, or stockings hung by the chimney with care (ours happen to still be in a pile on the hearth – rough few weeks), but that tall-skinny tree gives this family much joy.

Holes can be patched.

Too-tall tree and stockings piled by the hearth

**********

NOTE: For those who read last year's post about The Creepy Christmas Monkeys, they made it on the tree this year. If you look closely, you'll see one of the horrifying little creatures about three feet down from the star, staring directly at you. The other one's up there somewhere. Mom will be able to see them (with binoculars), but the monkeys won't be easy to move. Win-win!

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Reader Comments (3)

Holy crap! I don't think I've seen a tree that tall outside of Rockefeller Plaza! Looks great.

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranna see

I don't know if I've asked you this before....but how to you decorate that tree?

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterConnie Weiss

I'm a kid sipping hot chocolate, gazing up into that tree. Wonderful.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichael.offworld

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