“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”
I sing this in my head about 800 times each day. Sometimes, I mean it, and I’m rejoicing in the fun and excitement of the Christmas season.
But I also sing it in my head with a heavy side of sarcasm when the kids are arguing over who gets to hang which ornament on the tree or the woman in front of me at check out is angry with the cashier or when we’re running late for school because someone decided to reread ALL the Christmas books instead of brushing his teeth.
My Christmas tree project for this year is a combination of both, the rejoicing and the sarcasm. But mostly rejoicing.
Confession: We have a fake tree. I grew up with a fake tree, Husband grew up with a fake tree, it’s normal for us. Where we live, we are an anomaly. A favorite outing for most people this time of year is the trek to the local (or even not-so-local, in the mountains) tree farm to cut your own tree and bring it home. We did this for several years, but some Christmases we spend here at home and some we don’t, and it’s hard to buy a tree knowing that you won’t even be enjoying it on Christmas Day, and it will just be a pile of dead needles when you return from a cross-country flight, exhausted, with two exhausted children. So last year, we bit the bullet and bought a lovely pre-lit tree from Lowe’s. And we love it. (Especially the glow it gives while we watch Christmas movies snuggled up on the couch.)
But I had a plan for this year, a “VISION”. (Because, another confession: I had to wash our tree skirt multiple times last year because our kitty in her old age, mistook it for her litter box.) (Rest in peace, Molly.)
I knew this would work. And then I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head. It’s so cute.
I measured our tree stand and searched online for a galvanized tub that would accommodate its diameter.
So I did what I always do – I added it to my Thrift Wish-List.
In November, I still hadn’t found one, but then I looked out my back window to see an old galvanized tub the previous owners of our home had left behind. (The kids lovingly refer to it at the Black Widow Bucket – for good reason!) How had I missed that before?
So I sprayed and cleaned until there was not a trace of dirt or scary living creatures left and brought it in the house to test.
The diameter was about 2 inches too small for the base. Bummer!
BUT! I had another plan.
I had seen this idea on Pinterest last year, too. I told Husband I just needed to find a chopped down tree trunk! How hard would that be?
Husband said, “How about all those cut pieces that are in that yard down the street?”
Me: “What are you talking about?”
Husband: “I bike by them every day on the way to work. Between here and the grocery store. You haven’t noticed them?”
Me: “No, I haven’t noticed them. Are you making this up? When did you see them?”
Husband: “This morning on the way to work.”
Me: “Wait, are you actually ENABLING me to tackle a new crazy idea?”
Husband: “Totally. You should do it.” (Sarcasm here.)
So I did! I drove until I saw the wood, stopped the car, unloaded the kids, and knocked on the door. The international student who answered the door was very kind. He said he didn’t know what the plan was for all the wood, but he would ask the owner and I could stop by the next day. Then he asked why I wanted it. I laughed and explained my crazy Christmas tree plan. He got a huge grin and said, “That is a great idea!” When I stopped by the next day, he said I was welcome to as much as I needed, and he wished me good luck on my project.
Completion of this project required buying a paddle bit for our drill and lots of time. Drilling out a 1.5 inch hole in a tree trunk is not an easy task. Husband and the kids took turns drilling and measuring (and recharging the drill battery) until the hole was 6 inches deep. It fit perfectly the first time! (Rejoicing here!)
We put the wood inside the tub and placed the tree inside the wood, and my “VISION” came to life!
The kids were thrilled because we could finally decorate the tree (it had been up and lit without ornaments for a week while I figured out the final plan). They went crazy putting up the ornaments (and arguing, see above).
They were excited to see the Elvis ball return this year.
This lovely ornament was part of our tree every year growing up. And every year, my brothers and I would take turns hiding the Elvis ball because we were so embarrassed by it. My mom would say, “You won’t believe this, but I found the Elvis ball on the back of the tree at the very bottom. Do you know how it got there?” It would return to the front, but it only took a few hours for it to disappear again. Last year, as my mom was decorating her tree, she called to ask if there were any of her ornaments that I wanted. I, of course, said this one. She was shocked. “After all that time you spent hiding it?” Oh yes.
And, after receiving it in the mail, I, like any good sister, immediately posted a photo on Facebook, tagging my brothers to let them know it was mine. One said, “The only thing I wanted out of that house, and of course you get it.” Some things never change.
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”