Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Are Chris and I just bitter Scrooge's, or does anyone else hate the decorating part of Christmas?

Specifically? The tree. (I also really hate egg nog, which is odd considering my affinity for all things containing alcohol, but something about drinking eggs makes me want to vomit, even if it will get me drunk. I have some standards. But that's another post altogether.)

I can hang a wreath like no one's business. Light a candle with more finesse than most people have in their little finger. Hang a stocking from the chimney with care, no problem.

Pick out and decorate a tree? Big problem.

While some families have established traditions of joyfully bundling up in snow suits (even though we live in California), methodically picking out the perfect tree, cutting it down, tenderly transporting it to it's temporary home (where, incidentally, you are taking it to die), all the while sipping hot apple cider and gleefully talking about how you plan to decorate this year's tree...Chris and I have a different kind of tradition.

First, we wake up grumpy because it's tree day. We snap at each other a few times, there's some behind the back eye rolling. It's his fault we have to get a stupid tree (and vice versa).

Now we have to drag Sabrina into this mess. I try to focus on the important things: like her outfit. We get her dressed and ready to go. This year I tried to put mittens on her little hands. They were huge. We smiled. This would be okay.

Then we arrive. No, it's not fucking okay. It sucks ass. We both hate it with such a passion we immediately pass grumpy and go straight to "let's just get this fucking over with" and a few "you're a moron" mumbled under our breath.

They all look the same, and they're all equally ugly. It doesn't matter. Just pick one.

"How about this one?" Chris asks as he watches me stalk a random women who is being very picky about her tree. I was eyeing her in hopes that I could just take one of the trees she considered.

I look. It's up against a wall, but looks like a tree. It's fine, I guess. I don't care. It's raining, everything is wet, you can't see Sabrina's outfit underneath her jacket, my bangs are totally destroyed.

"Fine. Whatever." I reply.

We get the tree home and proceed to the next shitty step, sawing off the branches on the bottom and the stump.

In another effort to "just get it over with", we remove way too many branches. Like, the tree starts about 3 feet from the ground.

We also notice that the back of the tree is entirely flat and missing entire branches.

It's hideous.

I attempt to cover it with so many lights they literally blind you to the point where you don't notice how ugly and deformed the tree is.

Once again, I started with the wrong side of the lights so when I'm finished (like an hour later) and go to plug in the lights, I can't. Because I have the female side left at the bottom. My options are to remove all of the lights and start over, yell at Chris because it's somehow his fault, or run an extension cord from the very top of the tree to the outlet near the ground.

To preserve a little bit of sanity, I run the extension cord. Which? is brown. And stands out like a sore thumb. Making hideous tree look even worse.

As we started on the ornaments, we complained about how ugly they were. How we seemed to have a lot of balls. Lots and lots of balls. More balls than most people need. At this point, saying "balls" is a lot funnier than it should be. To supposed adults.

I asked, "Do you want to sing some carols, or are you good?"

He said he was good.

I vowed to get a fake tree next year. He said he was more in love with me than ever.

But the thing is, as brutal as the experience always is, it's our tradition. It just wouldn't seem right if we didn't dread that day with every fiber of our being. If we didn't complain incessantly about it. If we didn't inadvertently pick the ugliest tree in the lot. If we didn't nearly divorce trying to put it in the stand. Anything else, and it just wouldn't be us.


minivan soapbox said...

I definitely recommend a fake tree. You can get them pretty big and fluffy - and PRE LIT! Now there IS some fluffing involved every year depending on how much you smush it away...but beats going out and cutting one down. Also - No House Fires! :)

Ava said...

He he, using minivan's suggestion, for all years to come you can make dirty jokes about fluffing AND balls while decorating your tree.

... wait... did I go too far? ;p

Sandy said...

Fake trees are the best! Of course, we don't even have a tree, because we always travel at Christmas. But we always had fake ones growing up.

saundra said...

Hurry over to Target on Dec 26th, and get a pre-lit tree!!! You can still look forward to fighting over the decorations and making eggnog!

Sabreena said...

Now I don't mind going to get the tree or picking it out. I stick with Noble firs because they are fuller and hide more shitty ornaments. I hate decorating. We have those stupid net lights that look like you've just tranquilized and trapped the tree. You have to tuck these damn things in to make it look decent and guess who gets to do that shitty little job, ME! My husband sets it up and does nothing else. Our almost divorce is over those damn lights which he refuses to replace. I feel you. There is something about the holidays, annoying traditions, and snarling at loved ones that become so much a part of the holiday that it's hard to let them go. Humans, we are such creatures of habit no matter how shitty or annoying those habits may be.

Erin said...

That was hilareous. Glad to know we're not the only ones who argue about the perfect tree!

The Shmoopies said...

I demand you get your own sitcom. Right now, please. Preferably on pay cable or late night TNT b/c there will clearly be a lot of cursing in the very-special Christmas episode.