I’ll start my column with, no one was injured, because the story I’m about to tell, could have you shaking your head and stressing over what happened.
It all started with my longtime desire to have a 16 foot Noble Fir, Christmas tree (the ones with the spaces between the branches) in our living room. One day, in early December, my friend Joy told me her friend has a tree farm with really, really tall Noble Firs and they have the spaces between the branches. She said the tree farm sort of got away from him and now the trees are way too tall for the average home. In fact the trees are twenty years old so they’re all at least 25 feet tall!
Trees are like humans. The trees you buy from the Boy Scouts are about five to nine years old. A ten foot tree is like a thirteen-year-old and in those teen years following, it has a growth spurt to rival what must have happened to Shaquille O’Neal. Terry said our ceiling is 22 feet so we could easily accommodate a 16 footer and we’d just cut off as much base as we’d needed to in order to have a 16 foot tree in the living room. I was excited by the prospect.
I had no idea what an adventure we were about to dip our Christmas toes in!
Kristi, my bonus daughter, was out here from Boston and her best friend from high school, came up from Sacramento for a few days to play with Kristi while she was with us. Terry and I got the idea to take them with us to get our tree and they both jumped at the idea.
It was a beautiful, brisk, winter afternoon as we wound through the thick forest from the main road on the long driveway to the farm. We were greeted by frisky horses and a quartet of “welcoming” dogs.
We learned as we walked with Jeff, the owner, that he doesn’t want to sell Christmas trees and that’s why he hasn’t since he planted those 20 years ago. But since his friend Joy told us about him and his trees, he felt obligated. In spite of the obligatory nature of the transaction, Jeff was gracious and enthusiastic about taking us up into the hills to the tree farm part of his 160 acres (which are mostly panted in blue berries).
Picking out a tree wasn’t as easy as it would be on a ten-year-old crop at a tree farm. This crop had created a dense forest that would require a compass if the buyer were to venture deeply into the choices. Jeff left us to shop and went back to the barn to get his ATV, to carry our choice back to our waiting pickup.
The adventure starts back at our house, with the four of us raising the tree into its stand and discovering our ceilings aren’t 22 feet like we’ve thought, but rather the highest point is 18 feet. We also put the tree on a stage that’s one foot high. In other words, a 16 foot tree on a one foot stage puts the top of the tree one foot from the ceiling…but wait! The angel (which we cleverly put on the tree before we raised it put another foot on the Christmas production.
The angel’s head was smack up against the beam in our ceiling and she was so high up you had to guess she was an angel because that’s what people put on the top of their Christmas trees. I was embarrassed by the tree in our living room and Terry could read my disappointment. We decorated it all evening as I resigned myself to the old cliché: Be careful what you wish for…
After sleeping on my disappointment, Terry woke up and said, “I have a solution!”
The girls and I were by the fire enjoying our morning coffee, discussing the pros of this Griswold Christmas tree. “What?” we asked in unison.
You three will stand on the stage and hold onto the tree and I’ll take my chainsaw and cut three or four feet off, pull that part out, and you’ll let the tree down into the stand and you’ll have the right sized tree for the living room.
Believe me, this is not something I’d recommend, IN FACT DO NOT DO THIS, but perhaps that angel had a hand in the operation, for we came out of it with our kneecaps intact and the tree of my dreams moved into place.
I’d love to hear what new habit you’re going to do just for today. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more from Pam Young go to www.cluborganized.com. You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed SLOB’s point of view. Pam’s books are also available on Amazon.