Tag Archives: Christmas Tree

Two and a Half Christmas Trees

15 Dec

Last night, we strung the lights on our Christmas Tree. Wait, I should say that we strung the lights on our third Christmas Tree. There is a Christmas Tree in my stepdaughter’s room and another Christmas Tree in a back room. The Christmas Tree that is half completed can be seen from the road, which means that it bookends the house along with the one in my stepdaughter’s room. It also means that we have two and a half completed Christmas Trees.img_2189

The unfinished Christmas Tree is a live tree. Well, it is as alive as a cut tree can be. My wife decided that she wanted a live tree because we have not had one in a few years. Of course, we have not had one in a few years because the last live tree kept falling over. I will never forget the night that we were sitting by the fireplace, and I noticed movement. I jumped up in time to catch the fully decorated tree before it hit the ground. As I held it, my wife crawled underneath to stabilize it.

As I said, I never forgot. However, my wife must have because she wanted another live tree. She also wanted to flock the tree. I must admit that it is pretty, but I cannot shake the feeling that fake snow on a live tree is kind of weird.

I never thought I would have three Christmas Trees at one time. During my single life, I went years without one. One year, a friend bought a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree and gave it to me as a joke. It is basically a stick with one red ball for a Christmas ornament. I used to set it on the counter. I guess I could put it up and have four Christmas Trees. Other people may not count it, but I do. It was my Christmas Tree for several years.

At times, I think Christmas decorations are a pain. Put them up. Take them down. However, I would rather have my current life with three Christmas Trees than my old life with no Christmas Trees. Actually, my old life with one Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

The Problem With Christmas

15 Dec

This blog began as a sarcastic view upon the world. Simply, I was going to write about the dumbness that we encounter in our everyday lives. There was a diatribe about gas pumps that used to get tons of hits. Then, there was part of the Sonic Drive-In business model. Recently, I went after people who choose to drive big ass vehicles.

It is now the season to discuss the problem with Christmas. Actually, we should make that plural.Christmas

Food – I have no problem with the food that is prepared for Christmas. I think it is awesome. In fact, it is awesome enough that it should be prepared all year. That, therefore, is the problem. If something is good enough to eat in December, then it is good enough to eat in June.

Sausage balls are one of my favorite foods, but I only get them at Christmas. That is a ridiculous concept that needs to be immediately changed. They should be a staple of the daily diet.

I also like boiled custard. Those of you who drink eggnog are doing the wrong thing. You should be drinking boiled custard. You should also be drinking it all the time.

Music – There is only one good Christmas song, and it only has one decent version. The season is not complete without hearing Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing “Little Drummer Boy.” However, even it should only be played on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There is no reason to start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween.

That, therefore, is the problem. Christmas songs are played too early and too often.

The Three Wise Guys – They traveled from afar while following the brightest star in the sky. They bore gifts for the child that they knew would be found under its light. The journey must have been difficult and long. The three men, being wise, had plenty of time to contemplate the importance of their mission. I wonder if they knew the impact their trip would have on the world’s economy.

Three men bearing gifts for a newborn child created a tradition that would overwhelm the holiday designed to honor that very child. That, therefore, is the problem. The giving and receiving of gifts dominate Christmas. People fight to grab products on Black Friday. Stores cannot wait for the end of the year because they know that is when profits will be made. The holiday has become a contest to see how many gifts we can cram under a tree.

If the three wise guys had left the gold, frankincense and myrrh at home, then things would be quite a bit different.

Paganism – I have no problem with paganism. In my opinion, women can dance naked in the woods all they want. That, therefore, is not the problem. The issue is that people fill their houses with pagan symbols and do not realize it.

All of those Christmas Trees that people spend time setting up and decorating. Yep, it is a pagan symbol. It may come from some nature rite. It could be a way to bring nature into the home during a long winter. It could be a lot of things, but it definitely comes from a time before Christianity reached Europe.

Oh yeah, we cannot forget the wreaths. These things have a long pagan history. Heck, Roman emperors even wore them on their heads like a crown. Those would be the same Romans that Pontius Pilate worked for. Yep, paganism.

Characters – Santa Claus. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Frosty the Snowman. The Grinch. Heat Miser. Cold Miser. There are a ton of characters that have been created for Christmas. That, therefore, is the problem.

All of those Christmas characters have come to dominate Jesus, the character for which the holiday was created.

Reason for the Season – We spend a lot of time doing a lot of things at Christmas. People prepare special food. People spend a lot of time listening to songs. People spend a lot of time spending a lot of money. People spend a lot of time decorating their houses. People spend a lot of time watching television specials and taking pictures with Santa Claus.

That, therefore, is the problem. We spend all that time and forget about what Christmas is all about. I am not the most religious person in the world, but we should not forget that Christmas is a religious holiday celebrating the birth of a man who greatly altered the world.

This is not meant to be a religious debate. Some people believe, and some people do not. Millions upon millions believe in other religions and religious figures. However, no one can deny that this is a holiday that honors the man who one of the world’s major religions is based on. All of this other stuff just takes away from that.

The Day the Christmas Tree Adventure Came to an End

11 Dec

The last episode of the Christmas Tree Adventure ended with the tree in the garage. Things were going well. We were relaxing in the house. The tree was relaxing in the garage. However, we needed to water the tree. That was a job that I could handle, so I braved the cold garage with a bottle full of water. Then, I went back into the house and back to relaxing.

Despite all of the relaxing, I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that something was wrong in the garage. I went back and found that the tree had fallen over. Had the addition of water made it shift? I had no idea, but I knew we had an issue. The tree couldn’t be on the ground all night. My wife and I stood it up, but it wouldn’t stand up. We knew that was a problem but decided to prop it up in the corner and deal with it later.

Later turned out to be the next afternoon. She grabbed the top of the tree, and I grabbed the bottom. Off to the front door we went, and, as we made our way through the door, leaves and small branches went everywhere. The floor looked like the green carpet of a forest in a Disney cartoon. There was stuff everywhere.

We had picked out a corner by the fireplace to put the tree and got it in position. But, it wouldn’t stand. We shifted it. We tightened the screws. We did everything we could think of, but it wouldn’t stand. My wife wanted a perfect tree, and I had been saying that there is no perfect tree. However, this tree was far from perfect. When we let it go, it would always fall.

That’s when my wife said that we should have gotten it at a nursery. They deliver it and set it up and everything. I immediately wanted to know why I had never heard of this before. We have a tree that won’t stand. That could be because the tree is crooked or because we don’t know what we are doing. Either way, I knew the perfect place for this tree.Woods

We went to the nearest nursery and got a tree. They had that thing delivered and standing within 30 minutes. This may have been the greatest thing I have ever seen. When my stepdaughter got home from school, we started laying everything out to decorate. We got the lights. We got the ornaments. Then, this happened.Praying Tree

Unbelievable, the tree that was straight and that was put up by experts had fallen over. We lifted it. We tightened the screws. We got it to stand. Let the decorating begin.

The lights. The ornaments. We had finally gotten the tree finished, and it looked great.Christmas Tree

My stepdaughter went to bed, and we sat down to enjoy our work. That’s when my wife said something that caught my attention. The tree looked like it was leaning. I looked up and knew that it wasn’t leaning. It was falling. I jumped up and caught the tree before it made it to the ground.

There I was holding up and fully decorated tree. What happens now? As I held it, my wife crawled underneath and started messing with the bolts. I let it go, and it fell the other way. It was my turn to mess with the base. She held it, and I crawled underneath. It still wouldn’t stay up. For an hour, we took turns holding it up and crawling underneath it.

That’s when I made the big declaration. If it falls one more time, then we are taking everything off and throwing it in the woods. We will get the artificial one and decorate it. My wife messed with the screws one more time. I don’t know what she did. She doesn’t know what she did. All we know is that the Christmas tree is standing – for now.

The Day the Christmas Tree Adventure Began

9 Dec

For several days, we have been waiting for the opportunity to put up the Christmas tree. Several things have been getting in the way, but today was the day that everything came together. Excitement filled the air as we started the process of putting everything together.

My stepdaughter came up with the idea of having a real tree. It was a great suggestion because there is something special about a real tree. We had them a few times as I was growing up, and I can remember how good they smelled. However, a real tree meant some other things had to be done. We needed to get new lights because the artificial tree has its own lights. We also needed to get a stand that would handle a real tree.

We headed out to Target to get the stuff before picking out a tree. The day started out well. There was a great lunch. We were having fun pushing the cart through Target and making our way to the Christmas corner. We got a bunch of lights before checking out the ornaments.

That’s when things got a little dicey. I guess we all had a different idea about decorating the tree. My wife wanted something traditional with traditional colors. I guess traditional is the right word. I wouldn’t call it fancy, but I would say that she wanted something nice.

My stepdaughter was thinking of something fun and colorful. That sounded good to me because I have always thought Christmas should be fun. Without realizing that there was a difference of opinion, I said something about fun and colorful being a good idea. Hindsight by the pound is cheaper than foresight. In hindsight, I should have just let them work it out.

We went with the colorful ornaments, but I wasn’t finished saying things that I should have kept to myself. My wife had been talking about flocking the tree, and I had a question about it. If we were getting a real tree, then why would we put fake snow on it? That seems to defeat the purpose of getting a real tree. If that’s the case, then shouldn’t we just get a fake tree that was already flocked? As you can imagine, the release of my inner Spock didn’t go over very well. Now, I know what to do with my inner Spock – keep him innered.Spock 2

With the trimmings purchased, it was time to purchase the tree. There a couple of places near the house, and we picked one of them. By this time, the cold precipitation of the past few days was coming back. We walked through the forest of cut trees and picked one out. The guys who ran the tree stand looked something like these guys.Deliverance

Don’t know them? Well, they like banjo music and Ned Beatty.

We got out of the woods better than Burt Reynolds with a bow and a canoe.

The tree is in the garage drying from the rain, and the Christmas tree adventure will continue tomorrow. Hopefully, I will convince my wife to flock the tree before then.

Events of the Evening

30 Nov

This was going to be a simple evening. After work and a waxing, the plan was to head to my girlfriend’s house to decorate the Christmas tree. Work went well. The waxing went well, if slightly painful. Then, it was time for the fun to start. And, start it did.

First, I get a call from the fairgrounds. I am on the oversight committee, and a meeting had been called at the last-minute to discuss an upcoming event. Wait, it’s not really an upcoming event. It’s an event that we hope is upcoming. Right away, obstacles were being thrown into my path, but this one was easily handled. I didn’t go to the meeting.

Excitement abounds.

Excitement abounds.

The drive to her house was pleasant. It’s a winding road that goes through the countryside. The deer were not out yet, so there was not danger that I would run over a large animal. However, there was the danger that I would get caught behind a tractor, and that danger presented itself.

One of the hazards of living in the South.

One of the hazards of living in the South.

After some slow going, I made it to her house with the anticipation of eating good pizza and hanging good ornaments. Then, I heard the news. Her cousin, the hair stylist (in the old days they were called hair dressers), was coming over to work on my girlfriend’s hair. I decided to take a nap.

I’m not sure how long the nap lasted, but, for some reason, I dreamed that I was in an old timey beauty shop with women talking and those big hair dryers blowing. You know, the ones that women would sit under.

Take us to your leader.

Take us to your leader.

Anyway, I was awakened from this dream and told that it was time to get the pizza. At the pizza place, the guy was full of questions. My girlfriend lives in a really small town where everyone knows everyone else. He didn’t know me. After answering his questions satisfactorily, I was allowed to leave with the pizza.

When I got to the house, we scarfed the pizza down, and, with the hair far from being done, I hopped onto the iPad. Through the next couple of hours, I randomly went through the Internet and looked up the following:

The cast of Megaforce, a great 1980s movie starring Barry Bostwick

Yes, it is a flying motorcycle. Never say movies of the 80s were not classics.

Yes, it is a flying motorcycle. Never say movies of the 80s were not classics.

The farewell speech by Richard Nixon on the last day as president

His father had the poorest lemon farm in California.

His father had the poorest lemon farm in California.

The best songs of Eddie and the Cruisers

SPOILER: Eddie lives.

SPOILER: Eddie lives.

The previews for several episodes of The American Experience, with a special focus on George Armstrong Custer

During Custer's Last Stand, I don't think he was standing.

During Custer’s Last Stand, I don’t think he was standing.

The last speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The night before his tragic assassination, Martin Luther King said that he had "seen the Promised Land".

The night before his tragic assassination, Martin Luther King said that he had “seen the Promised Land”.

There was more, but you get the point. I was all over the place. Then, my girlfriend brought her cousin into the room so I could tell her about Abraham Lincoln. We saw Lincoln last night, and my girlfriend didn’t understand why politicians were debating about outlawing slavery at the end of the Civil War when the war was being fought to end slavery.

I am not going to get into a big historical discussion here, but I had to explain that the Civil War was not as simple as many people have been taught.

I write all of that to write this: I went to my girlfriend’s house to decorate the tree, and we did everything but decorate the tree. After she got her hair colored, she spent the rest of the night fretting over how bad it looked. After filling my mind with Internet info, I was fretting over my head beginning to hurt.

In the end, we decided to go ahead and decorate the tree. We didn’t know when we would be able to do it again, and we knew that her daughter would be disappointed if we didn’t do what we had planned on.