Real or fake? Same argument, new year.
About this time every year we have the same argument. No, it's not about the Christmas budget, it's about the tree.
I like real, he prefers fake. I realize the smell only lasts a day or two, but there is just something special about a real tree that says Christmas you know?
Inevitably, during our yearly fight about what kind of tree we will have, he throws the Christmas of 1996 in my face.
IT WAS SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO FOR GODSSAKE!
Here's the story...
I am the kind of person who likes to put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving. Screw the Black Friday shopping...just give me an entire day to stay in my pajamas and sort through all of the plastic bins filled with homemade stockings, ornaments, and the Advent calendar...now that's what I call fun.
(By the way, I am also the first person to have the tree and holiday decorations down and put away, usually by noon on December 26th. You can only take the holiday décor for so long, right?)
Anyways, the Christmas I speak of was our first upon returning to the great state of Wisconsin after a couple we had shared in California. Tom and I always purchased a REAL tree. The only difference in 1996 was we decided rather than haul the kids out to the country tree farm to cut down our own, we would trek to the local Stein Garden Center and choose a lovely $30 beauty off of the lot (yes, they were that cheap back then).
We decorate the tree. Everything is up and in place by noon on the day after turkey. The two of us would be hosting Christmas Eve for our families.
Tree should be good for a month, right?
Two weeks and ten gallons of water later, things are looking really, really bad. Branches were literally drooping under the weight of the ornaments and dropping needles every time the furnace kicked on. (And no, it wasn't standing near the vent).
We're talk'n Charlie Brown Christmas pathetic.
But I keep saying, "Oh it'll be fine, Christmas is right around the corner."
As the days go by this thing in our family room, which doesn't even resemble a pine tree anymore, continues its downward spiral.
The night of December 23rd I say to Tom, "I think we need to go back to Steins and get a new tree."
"We can't possibly have both of our families (30 adults and a sprinkling of children) seeing this pathetic excuse for a Christmas tree."
Although the details are fuzzy at this point, suffice it to say we got a new tree and WE spent the evening undecorating and redecorating something which was once again a representation of the holiday and something acceptable for Santa to lay his gifts under.
Family loved the gathering, probably commented about the beautiful tree as well.
Two days later, December 26th...down comes the tree. For a second time that year.
Every year since my husband reminds me that THIS is why we got a fake tree.
And then I tell him how much I hate spending hours trying to get something shoved in a box for the past twelve months looking even halfway like a pine tree. His response...once you have the ornaments on it you can't even tell it is an artificial tree.
BULLSHIT I SAY!
He thought he pulled the trump card when he bought a lifetime supply of pine scented home spray at Walmart last year. Like this is a "deal sealer".
As long as he is willing to pull the "tree" out of the box and spend 5 hours twisting it back into something that slightly resembles a pine tree I am not putting up that much of a fight.
Besides, I got bigger fish to fry.
This year I want Santa to bring me a new wardrobe from Steinmart and I am smart enough to know in marriage you have to pick your battles.