aving cats, we knew our options for a life size Christmas tree were limited and risky. Limited options translates into ‘no options’ and risky is the root word for frisky, as in frisky-risky-devil-may-care felines who are bored and trapped in a house with nothing to do.
A few years ago, Andrew pulled out his 3′ Christmas tree he had as a bachelor and we installed within the nave-like area above the stairs that descend into my new production area -aka: Stewdio 54. Secluded and in elevated position, we, as creatives, felt entitled to keep it up 24/7/365 because of the certain peril the life-size tree would incur. Entitlement was the payment for not having the ability (or guts) to erect the life-size to which I am accustomed because any new product we bring into the house -no matter what- is going to become the mauling victim of the fuzzy land-sharks.
We love our cats and we also know just who runs the house: the boyz of course.
This year we decided to risk it. Yes, we got frisky in our desires to adopt a life-size specimen into the house. It wasn’t a terribly dreadful decision alas, it had to be calculated one. It was late in the season so hitting up the farmer’s market or small nurseries was now out of the question -they had sold out. Several of the home improvement stores had also sold out but our favorite haunt (a Lowe’s) had at least 10 fresh-cut in stock for the price of only $5, so said the mumbling guy on the opposite end of the cell phone.
Why is it, on one of the coldest days in December, we felt compelled to get a tree? We had no other choice. Wait, yes we did: If we didn’t do it today, we’d have to haul it home in the rain tomorrow.
The only 2 customers in the cold section of Lowe’s on Glenwood, we carefully measured each and every Charlie Brown tree with haste. I had chosen the first one and luckily, it was the one that won out of 10 contenders -I guess I have the persuasive genes after all. Yay me! My heart temporarily sinks for the other trees that may not find a home, but I’m quickly comforted by the fact they that will soon have a reunion with the trees earlier selected by other families at the bottom of Lake Crabtree: An admiral resting place for all good trees to become a home for fishies.
“Oh, how about that tree stand, Andrew? Do you have yours?” as I yelled over the sound of the guy trimming off the bottom branches. Neither he nor I could remember exactly where each of our tree stands had disappeared when we combined our households almost 8 years ago. We conceded to the fact that we’d have to purchase one to save time. We’ve become masters with monetizing our time and effort. Immediately, the Lowe’s employees assured us that they had sold out of tree stands, so we made our way to Target next door.
Just inside the boxstore, Andrew habitually grabbed the shopping cart and I habitually plead w/him not to bring it. “If we bring that along, we’ll just fill it w/crap we don’t need and can’t afford.” He quickly reminded me that the box for the stand may be large and cumbersome as well as the extra lights we’ll buy for the new tree. Thank God we don’t have kids -always got to think of the shoes and socks they might need. As Amazing Race contestants, we scored 3 large boxes of small white lights in the farthest back corner of the store. It’s quite obvious that the recession has hit as otherwise the white light section would have dust bunnies bouncing back and forth from my desperate act of pushing boxes around in search thereof. Next stop: tree stands.
The young kid working in holiday section suspected that Target had sold out of stands and he confirmed his hunch; Andrew and I had already talked thru options should a tree stand not reveal itself for purchase. We’re not crippled by the news, we just knew that we’d have to put in some time making our own or create some kind of make-shift stand. Suddenly, news was announced that this was the first day Target is having a 75% off sale of their display faux trees. We hadn’t considered a fake tree because they’re originally so expensive (not that we’re purists: see monetizing time) but then we quickly ran the math in our heads:
Assembled + lights +tree stand + sale = purchase!
Three strands of lights, two trees, and one stand later, we bought Christmas -cheap. We surprised the boyz with a large, green, plastic bush that was positioned serenely in the front corner by the bay window. They actually liked it and have been behaving very well around it. We brought out chairs that we used for tradeshows to place infront of the window and each of them have secured their own place enjoying the soft glow from the white lights.
While I like the idea of taking only 15 minutes to dismantle the holiday in one fell swoop, I do enjoy watching the boyz sleep peacefully by the smart impulse purchase demanded by necessity.
The fresh-cut has been jerry-rigged in a large plastic pot filled with soil on the deck that is now covered with stale Captain Crunch bites for the fauna. The crows stopped by to evaluate the new buffet once, then flew away. A BlueJay stuff his beak with bread, ignoring the crunchies, so we expected a visit by the rotund raccoons by moonlight. Dissolved by the rain, they were replaced with stale popcorn I couldn’t finish -looks prettier anyway.
Meanwhile, we decided to limit our tree trimming to a mere tree skirt that I had made long ago -it sat beneath the three footer in the stairwell for the last few years. Knowing the details of the skirt wouldn’t be overlooked for long, someone found the treasures before Santa had the chance to arrive…
Chardonnay DeTassels Christmas