Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree!

We got home from the Potomac Valley Samoyed Club Christmas party just after dark. John had me wait in the car so he could hurry in to turn on the outdoor Christmas lights. Blue on the dogwood trees. Green on the boxwood. Reflected in the stepladder that still stood by the dogwood, they looked very…..festive.

Since we had managed to avoid hearing the final score of the Redskins-Eagles game we settled in to watch it on our DVR but we were interrupted by delivery of our Christmas tree. When I opened the front door I was confronted by the biggest Christmas tree I had seen this side of the Ellipse. It was over nine feet tall. I know. I measured it. Then I measured the distance floor to ceiling at the highest point in my living room. Ooops.

“John, do we have a saw?”

“Do we have to do that tonight?”

“Yes. It has to drink. And I want the limbs to drop down so I can decorate it tomorrow night.”

(We are leaving for vacation on December 23 until after New Years so I am feeling the pressure to get the house decorated.)

I found the saw. Pulled the tree inside. With difficulty. And began to remove a foot from the bottom of the tree.

“Give me the saw.”

“Go watch the Redskins. I can do this”

“It will take you forever. I paused it.”

After much sawing and sweatingbut no swearing, the bottom of the tree separated from the top of the tree but was still attached by the netting. John handed me the saw and went back to the TV. I sawed of the bottom branches.

I tossed the hewn trunk and branches out the front door and went to the living room to make room for tree-monster. I tried to do it unobtrusively. John was swearing now, but not at me. The Redskins were trailing 21 to 3 after two interceptions.

After making room for the tree I brought in the tree stand and pulled the tree – again with difficulty – into the living room. We had the annual debate about whether it is easier to attach the stand while the tree was lying down or when the tree is standing up. It is easier when the tree is lying down, but I have to convince him every year. We tightened down the four screws. I braced the base while John righted the tree. It cleared the ceiling with inches to spare. We pushed the tree into the newly opened space and I proceeded to remove the rest of the netting. Each time I snipped, the tree opened wider and wider. It encroached on the hallway. Obstructed a third of the 50 inch wide screen TV on which the Redskins were beginning to claw their way back from their 18 point deficit.

“Doesn’t that smell wonderful?” I said from behind the tree, hoping he wouldn’t notice the branches that were now spreading toward the dining room.

“That’s a really big one.”

“You said you wanted a big one.” I responded, employing the best offense is a good defense approach that was now eluding the Redskins.

Meanwhile Arlo and Darcy just looked on in amazement. Too dumbstruck to even deliver the customary anointing of the tree that has become as much a part of our holiday as Aunt Gladys’ fruitcake.