This weekend, we’ll be going out to get our Christmas tree. We always wait until at least the second week in December because I have to have a real tree. We tend to make a bit of a production of getting our tree. It’s part of the whole Christmas celebration for us. A few years ago, we added a new element to our whole Christmas tree production. We started tying our tree to the wall. Yes, really…we tie the tree to the wall.
A number of years ago, before Gabe was born, we were setting up our Christmas tree. We had this phenomenal tree, about 9 ft tall and super full, and we had a nice, new big tree stand to put it up in. Vic and I had managed to get that big mother up in the stand and we were letting it stand so the branches could settle open. We had filled the stand with water and I finally had a chance to sit down at the computer.
Well, I didn’t get to sit down very long. In less than 15 minutes, I heard a shriek from the living room. As I rounded the corner I saw Marty clinging desperately to a branch of the tree. He’s leaning back and the tree is leaning way over. I don’t know how the hell he kept that tree from hitting the ground, but he did. However, whatever he did to tip the tree emptied at least a gallon of water from the stand onto the ground. It was such a mess. With help from Vic, we got the tree re-situated in the stand. It was once again secure…or so I thought.
Later in the day, it was time to decorate our behemoth. We had almost all of our ornaments on…the Sesame Street ornaments, my imported Italian glass ornaments, the ornaments we got on our honeymoon. The tree was looking truly gorgeous. All that was left was for Marty to hang the Grinch ornament. Now, Marty has a unique tradition with that Grinch ornament. In his mind, it’s an ornament so it HAD to go on the tree but it was that mean old Grinch so it needed to be hidden. The problem that year was the way Marty decided to get the Grinch into the inside of the tree. Marty decided to go under the tree and come up on the inside of the tree in order to hang the Grinch in his hiding place. Wanna know how that worked out? *Not too good. Marty went up, the tree went over, and then, the tree hit the ground. All the ornaments save the Grinch were already on the tree and the tree was on the fucking ground. I had horrific visions of broken ornaments and having to undecorate the tree to be able to resecure it in the stand. I think there were only two things that saved Marty’s life at that moment…1) only two ornaments broke and neither broken one was special in any way and 2) despite the screws from the tree stand biting deep into the tree when it fell, all it took to get it standing straight and tall again was to rotate the tree a little and tighten the screws again.
At that point, I decided enough was enough. I was going to fix it so that damned tree couldn’t ever go over again. I marched out to the van and got the twine that had secured the tree to the top of the van. Then, I went up the hill to our shed and found my drill and to eye bolts. I hauled my trusty two step metal step stool out of it’s corner and put those damned eye bolts into the wall studs. I was standing on the top step of my step stool with the twine tied to one eye bolt. I leaned forward a little bit to wrap the twine around the truck and, that’s when it happened. As I was leaning out (just a little mind you), I felt my foot slip. I think my foot must have been a little damp from my trip outdoors to get the tools because I sure as hell wasn’t leaning far enough to account for the fall. The foot slipped, the knee loudly popped, and I hit the floor in the one small area I could hit without banging my head. My knee popped so loudly that I thought I had broken it again.
So, there I was, lying on the floor in an immense amount of pain and the damned tree wasn’t even tied to the wall yet. A trip to the **ER in an ambulance assured me that my knee wasn’t broken. A smart husband made sure the tree was secured to the eye bolts in the wall before I got home. And, the tree stayed upright for the rest of the Christmas season. I think that while the tree may have won the battle, I definitely won the war. To this day, our trees get tied to the wall before even one ornament goes on it. I even learned two very important lessons that day…1) step stools are evil bastards that ambush you when your feet are wet, and 2) the tree never wins.
So y’all, your assignment is to share one ridiculous holiday story with me. Maybe something that makes me feel not so alone in my klutziness. Spill it!