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There are times that I really do feel like The Little Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe. I even call our little house "The Shoe". I am a stay at home mom. I do really think that was my calling. My kids are 13, 10, 10, (yes they are twins) and 5. Our life is an adventure, most times it really is a beautiful adventure.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Our "OLD" Christmas Tree

    It took us long enough, but we have finally put up our old Christmas tree up (it's not decorated yet).  Christopher and I have a very stupid tradition that we tell one new person about how we got our Christmas tree.  This year I WIN, because I have found more than "one" person to tell!
    Every year I put that tree up, and smile, and curse.  I fluff out it's branches and occasionally find myself holding one of those branches.  It does not feel like it, but it is a nineteen year old tree.  It smells a little funky because of all the time it spends in the crawl space, and it takes a little time and a great deal of air deodorizer to combat that musty smell.  Each Christmas season I look at the new beautiful artificial trees in the flyers wistfully.  Those new trees come pre-lit, they are so pretty.  I look at them, but we all know that we will have that smelly tree until all of it's branches fall out.
    That tree has lots of great memories attached to it, not the least of which is how we came to own it.  Christopher and I were newly weds, living in Georgetown, Ontario.  It was our first Christmas as a married couple.  We were living on the top story of a house that had been converted into apartments.  I was working at a job I hated.  Our down stairs neighbour was literally a psycho .  It was also the farthest I had ever lived away from my hometown, both literally and emotionally.  It was a really tough year, but it was our first married Christmas, and that made it special.
    I had seen a four foot tall artificial tree in a White Rose Flyer (now I am really dating my story because White Rose has been out of business for so long).  It was on sale for $20.00.  For us at that time $20.00 was a lot of money.  Christopher was going to school at Humber College to become a funeral director, and my measly pay cheque was our only income.  It was a lot of money for us, but I wanted that tree.  One night when Christopher got finished school, and I had gotten off work, we drove to Brampton to the White Rose.  
    I was so excited to buy that tree, Christopher not so much, but he was there.  We wandered around looking for that tree that was on sale.  We looked high and low for about half an hour, before finally getting help from a kid that worked there (the funny thing in retrospect was that "kid" was probably just a few years younger than us).  The kid went into the back and came out with this HUGE box.  Christopher was looking at that box, and was about to say something, when I kicked him in the leg and gave him the stink eye.  "It's never going to fit in our car" he muttered under his breath.  "I'll make it fit." I growled with my teeth tightly locked together.  "Thank You" I said in an angelic voice to the kid who had helped us (as you are reading this think about the IKEA commercial where the woman looks crazed and screams at her husband "Get the Car".  I think that the ad executive may have been lurking at White Rose, and used me as his inspiration.)
    We paid $20.00 for that HUGE box, and took it out to the car.  As soon as we got out to the car, the complaining began.  "I don't know how you think we're going to get that in the car.", my new husband would not at that point win any awards for optimism.  I honestly don't know how we got it up on the roof of the car, I do remember it involved a lot of swearing.  Basically I drove the half hour back home mostly hanging out of the car window in the winter, holding that box up.  We had to stop every few feet to re-adjust it, Christopher growing less and less merry with every stop.  I on the other hand apart from saying a number of "blue" words to my new husband was as merry as Santa's most merry Christmas elf (I think that in and of itself may have helped to contribute to Christopher's Grinch mood).
    We finally made it home.  I may have had some frostbite, but the important thing was that I had my Christmas Tree!  Then came the task of fighting to get that monster of a box up our narrow little set of stairs.  Our four month old marriage nearly came to an end as we struggled with that heavy box.  There a point that saw me pinned against the wall.  Exhausted and no longer speaking to each other, we colapsed onto our beat up old brown couch.  After we had caught our breath, we looked at that huge box.  The most striking thing that I noticed was the price tag... $299.00, WOW.  The next thing I noticed was that the box said "10 foot Christmas Tree".  We did not have a 10 foot ceiling, something Christopher was more than happy to point out.  "I'll make it fit, you'll see."  I then set out like a crazed idiot, pulling things apart.  In the end my stubbornness won.
    I put up that tree, admiring it.  That night we decorated it with the cheap little decorations we could afford.  It was a thing of beauty.  I remember just looking at it and beaming.  It was our tree, it was our first Christmas together, we had not divorced over that tree.  The next day I came home from work to find Christopher steaming mad, collecting decorations from the floor.  My crazy cat Gary had been climbing the tree and brought it crashing down.  That night we tied the tree to the roof.
    How could you replace a tree like that?  Even if it is kind of stinky, and not as pretty as it was in it's youth, it's our tree.  It has been with us through the years, it's our Christmas constant.

1 comment:

  1. Tristan: i don't ever remember hearing that story. Love Tidey