Here is my big holiday secret. Because it’s the holidays now, right? Or did they start last week? Or right after Halloween? Before Halloween? Whatever. It’s the holidays so here is a holiday story. Well, it’s a holiday confession AND THEN a holiday story. Of sorts.
Confession first. I like Christmas trees. Pretty, shiny. What’s not to like? I’ll tell you what’s not to like. Decorating them! OH GOD JUST TAKE ME NOW!! I seriously find no pleasure in decorating a Christmas tree. I know that there are people out there that I can pay to decorate mine and someday, when I actually have money, I fully intend to do that. I know it should be some “dahoo-doris” holding hands around the tree kind of thing. It should be sentimental and lovely and there should be carols on the radio and the smell of gingerbread and hot chocolate in the air but really what you end up with is the sound of me swearing like a sailor and the smell of must and dust in the air. It’s miserable and, as far as I am concerned, only marginally worth it. And the cat just eats the tree anyway. I don’t know why, it’s plastic, but she will gnaw on it continually until January.
I hate it.
And as if that weren’t enough, here is my Christmas tree story:
When I moved into my very first, big girl apartment, with my BFF, at a much older age than I would like to admit, we decided that we would do Christmas big. We would decorate the whole (beautiful Victorian) place and have a REAL Christmas tree. The kind that you go out and buy at a lot! The kind that doesn’t come in a box. The kind that you have to water everyday and it still becomes a fire hazard within twenty minutes. The kind that will shed needles in your car that you will still be finding ten years later (seriously), the kind that has a stand that no matter how well you try to protect your floors will leave a freaky stain. But I think I am showing my cards here. I’ve already stated that I don’t like the whole Christmas tree she-bang and this tree was pretty much where I realized that.
Anyway, we got in the car and drove to the lot on a very cold December night. I knew that my night wasn’t really going to go all that well when I woke up. Not in bed. Not that morning, or from a nap that afternoon. When I woke up flat on my back, staring up into the wintry night sky, in the Christmas tree lot. Black ice, ‘nuff said. The BFF says that she had just gone into the trailer to pay the guy for our beautiful, giant tree and she turned around to tell me to pull the car around and I had disappeared. I was there, I was just a lot lower to the ground than she expected. She drove home. I moaned a lot and we both dragged the tree up to our second floor apartment, shedding needles all the way. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur. I remember a headache, some nausea and a few ornaments, but eventually we got the tree up and running, as it were. I seem to remember it taking a while to decorate, possibly because I had a concussion, but there could have been other reasons. But when the last ornament was finally hung, the last light set just so, the star set at the top…BFF dimmed the lights and stood back basking the glory of the first real grown-up tree. She started to sing “Oh Christmas Tree” in her high, sweet voice, “Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, how steadfast are your branches, Oh Christmas tree OH MY GOD CATCH IT!” And down came baby, cradle and all.
Ornaments were smashed that night. Much like my skull. I don’t think I have ever truly recovered.