There are the Martha Stewarts of Christmas decorating and then there is me. The tree should, of course, be the focal point and for my own rational reasons (why kill a perfectly good, living tree?), I have always put up a "fake" one. I do realize that it is made of plastics which never biodegrade, that there is no fresh pine or spruce smell, and that it just isn't authentic. I know that the trees are grown and harvested for Christmas so my justification is not rational at all. Still...
To compensate for the trip to the tree lot or the great outdoors with the chain saw, that we didn't take, setting up the tree was a family affair. I might have mentioned being a bit cheap before so it follows that our "fake" tree was small and after its first few Christmases kind of "Charlie-Brownish." Its flimsy plastic stand took some creative mouth positions (as in if you held your lips a certain way) to get standing with the centre "pole" not too far off-plumb. The wooden trunk (read recycled broomstick) featured drilled holes (colour-coded) where you matched the appropriate limb, swore some, and pushed it in. The holes splintered so that the limbs hung crooked and didn't necessarily line up. No matter, strategic placement of the strings of lights held it all together. I did say it was a family affair so everyone "helped." We all know decorating a tree is "woman's" work so more than the needed supervision was provided by the grouchy man of the house, who didn't quite trust leaving the kids and little woman to get the tree up. The kids (just two, thank goodness) helped as best they could. Once the tree was "balanced", we could do the decorating per se. Cue for the man to depart, his chore done until it was time to critique this year's effort. The kids were excited to help. When they were young, the idea of the tree worked, the magic of Christmas was just a couple of weeks away, and once covered by ornaments, we could stand back to admire our work. Even the resident critic might offer a gruff compliment.
O, Christmas tree, indeed.
I've been married a long time and often write about everyday events.