Last year I blogged about one of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions, which was the process of finding and bringing home a tree. This year was just as much fun, if not more, and for sure more exciting.
This year, despite the new Christmas tree farm that threw a bit of contest into the game by offering smores, Santa and a tractor ride to the you-cut tree field, we weren’t going to break our tradition and were dead set on going to the cosey family you-cut, Christmas tree business that just serves free hot chocolate and music from the clap-on, clap-off caroling Christmas tree. This year was a bit different though. We had the wonderful company from my father, brother, his wife and daughter who moved here for good from New York.
We all did the normal thing, running around looking for the best tree. I tried my best to discourage the tree that had about a million spider webs, as if we need one more spider this winter. It was hard. I don’t know why, but my sweet little girl just thought that tree was THE tree…as if she was getting something extra special for free.
We finally found our tree, minus the spiders and it was on to find the very cool tree my sister-in-law spotted. That tree had to be just right. For some reason my mother wanted to have a tree to decorate with blue, silver and white… a Hanukkah tree. We warmly called it the Hanukkah bush, which I was convinced was a real thing until my sister-in-law, the expert, told me it was just a joke. Poor thing, she was such a good sport. She was okay with getting a tree, and okay with decorating it with Israel’s colors, but “please, please, I beg of you, don’t put a Star Of David on it!!!”
So, after we found our trees, shook the dead needles and any stowaway spiders out, bailed and bought them, it was time for the men to put them on the vehicles as the women and children enjoyed some hot chocolate and a singing tree. This year I was prepared. Every year I stress and complain about the tree falling off our van all the way home. Just about all 190 miles home. This year I vowed to be different. I made sure that I started by getting plenty of rope. It was going to be tied down so tightly, that I wasn’t going to have to worry, and the husband wasn’t going to be tempted to tie me up along with the tree on the way home.
First, I found some expensive rope at Safeway. It was long and it cost nearly $5. The expensive stuff had to be the best. I then ended up a the Dollar Tree. I found some rope, not as long, but it was only$1 so, maybe that could be back-up rope. Yep, I was ready.
Since I was busy with hot chocolate and dancing to the tree, who was still too cold to open its eyes while it sang, like it was supposed to, I had no part in tieing the tree down. But, I had faith in the husband. He had found the longest and expensive rope and decided to use it.
My father, brother and family went back home, while we still had a lot of errands to do. One of which was to drop the husband off at the Elks Lodge so that he could help out with a charity event. After dropping him off, the kids and I left the parking lot with many plans dancing in our heads when we heard two loud bangs and a long scraping sound. My brain couldn’t even get a hold of what was happening and was grateful for my 13 year old’s screaming, “The tree fell off, the tree fell off!”. I know the other two reacted too, but I was too busy trying to figure how to get it all together as I realized my biggest fear just came true.
I hastily pulled the vehicle to the side of the road and quickly realized as I jumped out that the tree had fallen in front of several cars in the middle of a fairly busy intersection. It’s funny what goes through a person’s mind during situations like this. My thoughts were, “my kids are watching, got to get my hero cape on, no matter what!”. I can’t help thinking that if my kids weren’t there, it would have been a whole different situation. I moved as fast as I could, grabbing the top of the tree and dragged it to the edge of the road, as if the people in the waiting cars were going to drive by and chastise me for being so careless as to let a tree fall off my vehicle.
Every year when we get our tree, I am the one who gets to get the hot chocolate and dance by the tree with the kids, I never got to be the one who hauled the tree to the vehicle and threw it on top. I finally got the chance to appreciate that job. That tree was actually very heavy. My hero adrenaline continued to pump through my veins as I pulled that thing up over the curb and onto the sidewalk.
I realized at that point, the traffic that I was worried about giving me trouble, actually pulled over to help! I called my husband, who I am sure barely got through the doors a parking lot away. The very nice man who stopped and I picked up the tree and together threw it on top (I still had my cape on). The tree was backwards, but I wasn’t going to complain. After we threw it on top, we discovered the reason why the tree came off. My wonderful plan, the-best-tree-ancor-because-it-is-so-expensive rope snapped right off in several places!
Another man who stopped, the first man, my husband and my father-in-law all anchored that tree down with the Dollar Tree rope as I stood by chatting with the second man’s wife. They got that thing so tight that one of the comments was, “you better cut the rope off when you get home because by the time you get it untied, it will be too close to Christmas!”.
The rest of the trip went just fine. We got the tree home safely, all 190 miles home, with the Dollar Tree rope holding it securely down. I keep thinking about that day however. I wonder why, after it all happened, that I wasn’t bothered by it. I wasn’t a bit angry, upset or even embarrassed. I wondered why that was, since it seemed so strange for me to not stress over something like that, even after it happened. Maybe it was because I handled the situation just fine, probably because I had my hero cape on. I think that it was more though. Maybe it was because I learned to have faith in others, and to assume the best of people. I have to admit, I am embarrassed that I thought the worst of people and worried that the ones I held up were upset with me, which in reality had compassion and willingness to help. It probably didn’t even cross their minds to drive by and chastise me. I got a good lesson, and learned to see the good side of people who over-rode any negative feelings of the situation. Yes, it turned out to be a tree-mendous time and one to remember for a long time.