Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Perfect Tree in the World, Part 2

Every year, usually around the middle of December, we get our Christmas tree. Sometimes it comes from Home Depot, sometimes from a cut your own tree farm, last year it came from our lovely friends at NorthStar Christmas Trees, (in metro Atlanta, that's a great place to get a tree- last year, ours lasted til February!), but no matter the origin, there's always a constant- the party. I throw a "family party" every year, which means each of my kids gets to invite a friend or two, and we drink eggnog and eat festive holiday snacks, listen to Christmas music and make ornaments, and decorate the tree. It's rowdy, and messy, and one of the highlights of the season for me, right up there with the candlelight Christmas Eve service.

This year is a little bit different. This year, I thought we'd have an even more festive time, as my mother and sister now live within a few miles of us. Unfortunately, the timing is all wrong. Middle Child is recovering from her surgery, but still feels rough, and mainly wants to be quiet and still, which pretty much rules out any sort of party plans. So this year, there is eggnog, and some foods that are festive but soft, like pumpkin custard and peppermint ice cream, and there won't be any partying, but we will get the tree decorated eventually, even though it will happen in fits and starts, and that's ok. By week's end, it will be up. Maybe even by wordless Wednesday.

It's ok with me that this is the way it's worked out. This has been the year of plan B turning into plan C, and so on. I've always considered myself to be flexible, this year has pushed me to prove it.

I've already detailed this year's tree acquisition. This morning, the tree was lying on the floor, despite many adjustments last night to the tree stand. The Man picked it up, and I held it steady while he tried to adjust it further, until we decided that what was needed was something to slide under the tree stand, as a brace. Knowing he'd be able to find something that would work in the garage, but not wanting me to have to hold it while he looked, the Man slid a book under the stand, as a temporary measure, and then left to take the dog for a walk.

A few minutes later, I heard a commotion. I was getting dressed, and MC was sleeping, so I asked Small One to look and tell me if the tree had fallen again. A few minutes later I heard her say "No, but someone stuck a book under the...AAAAAAA!"

Yep, she had decided to remedy the situation by pulling the book out from under the tree, and had ended up pulling the whole thing down on top of herself. I dashed down the stairs to find her sprawled, all Flat Stanley-like, arms out to the side, tree on top of her, wailing. I am pleased to report she was shaken but unharmed, though she eyed the tree a little more warily after that, gave it a wider berth.

She's over it tonight. Tonight she discovered the treetop angel, and had to get her Daddy to lift her up so she could put it on the tree. It seemed fitting to me that the angel would go on first, when nothing else will be up until tomorrow and later. "Is this the same angel," she asked, "that watched over Mary, and Joseph, and the baby Jesus?"


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