Tonight we will either be successful shoring up our Christmas tree, or we'll be taking it down 11 days before Christmas. I wouldn't say this year's tree experience has been as rough as the time three years ago that Tim chopped the lights with gardening shears AFTER the entire tree was decorated, but it HAS been a challenge. The kids' tree is still front and center when you walk in the house, in its easy-to-assemble and semi-stable artificial glory, but the real tree downstairs has been causing problems.
Because of the difficulty of taking Andrew anywhere in the evening, I quickly picked a tree out by myself one morning this week instead of waiting for us all to go after work. I didn't like going by myself. It reminded me of doing that after my mom died. Maybe the tree didn't like it much either.
Plopping it in the stand, Tim and I both remarked on how easy it was, since the tree was smaller and lighter than usual.
However, no matter how many times we twisted, the screws wouldn't anchor on anything. The trunk was a soggy, pulpy mess. After about 10 minutes, Tim said he was giving up. I suggested we toss it on the back deck and throw some white lights on it for an outdoor decoration. Margaret begged us to rally, from her comfortable perch on the couch, of course.
I suggested we could anchor it to the walls with twine, as my grandpa would have done, but Tim was having none of that, saying, "I've never heard of anyone doing that before!" So, I guess if he hasn't heard of it, it can't possibly be a thing.
Eventually, he made little shims out of wood so that the screws would have somewhere to go, AND we used fishing line to anchor it to a heavy table on one side and my favorite hulking "dumpster dive" on the other. All was well, and I decorated it until 12:30 am.
The next day it was leaning.
We tightened all the things.
Because we are going on a trip, we don't think it's fair that our house sitters and the dogs should have to deal with a downed tree and potentially hundreds of broken glass ornaments.
So after Tim puts Andrew to bed tonight (Yay, Tim! He does it every night), we will assess whether to up our fishing line game, or take down the tree. I always love how spacious the house feels after the trees are down, but it does seem a bit early in the season for that...
I'll keep you posted!
p.s. I ran across this old post from 2009 in which I call the family by pseudonyms, show how grumpy I am, and mention a surprise after-40 pregnancy. What?!?