Friday, December 11, 2009


We got our Christmas tree about a week ago. We always go out to a tree farm and chop down a real tree, strap it to the top of the car, and bring it home. This is what my family always did when I was growing up. I don't think I even knew fake trees existed until college. In all fairness to fake trees, there were a lot of things I didn't know existed until college, like, say, tequila.

Anyway, once I had my first apartment in college, I finally broke down and got a fake tree from Wal-Mart (and this would be the Wal-Mart in the neighboring town, since my college town was not yet cool enough to have a Wal-Mart at that time). I actually used that fake tree for a few Christmases. Then, the first year that Jay and I were married, our apartment's storage unit was overrun by mice and they pooped all over the fake tree and we had to throw it out. The mouse poop was 99 percent our fault, since we were storing the seed for our bird feeder in our storage unit in a plastic bag. I think the other 1 percent was a sign from the universe that one should never use a fake tree. Fake tree = plague of vermin from God. We've been using real trees ever since.

Back to last week: We brought home our tree and WCK and I spent about two hours decorating it. Later that afternoon, WCK and I were about to head out the door to go to a birthday party, when I thought the tree was looking a little crooked. Then -- wham -- the whole thing fell over.

Actually, it was partially stopped by a chair next to the tree, and by me leaping over to the tree to grab it and keep it from falling all the way. Of course, at the moment the tree fell, Jay was upstairs in the bathroom and couldn't hear my screams for help. WCK was standing around doing nothing, so I pleaded with her to please go upstairs and alert Daddy to the falling tree. She moved very slowly for someone whose mother is yelling and clinging to a Scotch pine for dear life, but she finally did make it up the stairs to knock on the bathroom door, after visiting every other room in the house first. This is why four-year-olds don't drive ambulances, fight fires, or report breaking news.

Jay finally made it downstairs, and we fixed the tree. The only casualty was my Miss Gulch ornament from my Hallmark Wizard of Oz collection. The wheels snapped right off of her bike, as did the little miniature Toto riding in the basket. I guess Toto was just trying to break free.

We've now gone six straight days without a tree collapse, which is a pretty good safety record if you ask me.


Jen said...

Isn't it funny how 4-5 years old will run around screaming and moving at record pace over trivial little do we all want to watch their puppet show...but for an actual emergency, not so much? When I urgently tell the kids to go get their dad (usually as I am holding vomiting or bleeding child) that is the day the child will look up at me after the requst and yell "dad!" rather than actually leaving to find their dad...

Elizabeth said...

I'm just impressed that she knocked on the bathroom door. In our house we've got two or three kids in there whenever we are.

Jody said...

i love your blog and your humor! i lost my mother to multiple myeloma 7 years ago when she was 50 and that was young for MM.I guess it really is no longer for the old foggies! I have been raising money for MM since then and continue to do so. A tree falling over is nothing. we almost lit our house on fire 3 years in a row due to old fashioned xmas lights! now we use the small dinky ones...Merry Christmas!

Karen's Mom said...

After I stopped laughing and dried my eyes enough to see, I found and read "Karen starts holiday traditions" (from 1995?) Do you have any reminiscent thoughts on Getting in Touch with Nature, Wacky Tree-branch Girl and the gentle aging of Gingerbread Man? Marshmallow Man met his demise around the turn of the century. Or maybe you could post the whole thing? It's one of my favorites!