Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas trees, and grumpy mamas

It was raining -- really heavy soggy rain-drops-that-soak-your-clothes-in-five-seconds raining -- this afternoon when we planned to pick up a Christmas tree. Unlike the old days, pre-Carson, when life had kind of a leisurely feel to it, today felt frantic. Naptime was approaching, so we drove a few miles up the road to a nearby tree lot -- not too far away, because when we're in the car too long, you-know-who loses it.

"You stay in the car with Carson," I told Jason, a little militantly, grabbing the umbrella. "I'll go get the tree." It felt weird to pick the tree solo, but it didn't make sense dragging the baby out in the wet, 39-degree weather either. So I ventured out on my own, trudging through the muddy ground like I was on some kind of high-speed scavenger hunt. (And if I sent Jason out, well -- we'd have a Charlie Brown situation on our hands.)

There was row after row of tall trees, fat trees, and sparse trees. But nothing caught my eye. Christmas tree shopping isn't like buying apples and oranges at the market. You sort of have to feel a oneness with them -- and I felt nothing. Finally, I flagged down an employee to help me, and a few minutes later we found it: a tall, stately looking Noble fir. "I'll take it," I said. "And I have a fussy baby with his daddy in the car, so I need to pay and go -- fast!"

We hurried to the cash register, where I was shocked to hear the price of my tree -- somewhere between ouch and oh dear. I set it back. Really, Christmas trees shouldn't rival airfare to Maui. The clerk sniffed and pointed to the area where the cheaper trees were housed, giving me an annoyed look as if to say "Clearly you have no taste in trees."

Thirty seconds later, I return with a slightly smaller, more reasonably priced Noble. I pay for it, they strap it on our car, and we head home. Five strands of broken lights later (along with an hour spent wrangling the tree into the stand, cleaning up fallen needles, and washing sap off our hands) I began to wonder, why do we do this tree thing again? I'm grumpy. I'm frustrated. I'm tired. I'm borderline Ebenezer Scrooge, in the flesh. Then, out of nowhere, I get my answer:


Katie said...

Remember that artificial tree conversation we had the other day??? Starting to sound good?

I have to say, that picture is beyond precious...

Mimi said...

We just got an artificial tree and it's the best! I was reluctant at first, but after some arm-twisting by my husband and reading your story, I am glad we went to Costco and plunked down some money for a tree we'll use every year. That photo of Carson is so precious though... totally worth all the effort you went through to get the tree up!