Opinion: Dismantling my lame Christmas tree

Published 11:49 am Wednesday, December 28, 2016

We have drunk deeply of Christmas at our house, and now it is the dregs I must finish off. Yes, the dreaded Christmas tree dismantle.

It is a solo task, while the decorating of the thing was a joyful group activity, done to Pandora’s Maranatha Christmas, with the smell of cider brewing in the background.

Oh, well. I am eager to be done with it, as well as all the other undoing of the season. Away with you, gift wrap scraps. Out of here, bow that keeps following off the mailbox. Get thee behind me, sugar cookies.

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Let me be clear that when I say Christmas tree, I’m talking about the real variety, the kind that was beautiful two weeks ago but by Dec. 26 had become a browning has-been, as used up and discarded as the gift tags scattered on the skirt beneath it.

It is a battle, this dismantling of a real (now really dead) tree. I have cedar scrapes on my hands and forearms to prove it.

In our family, it is always cedar Christmas trees, and they are always cut on our land. It is a tradition not so unlike that of which Tevye sings in “Fiddler on the Roof,” and my husband and I, we hold on to it. Fast. The kids, not so much.

They apparently dream of the bought kind of tree, those Fraser firs with full limbs and even needling that OTHER families buy. Ok, so our property’s pickings were especially slim this year and we meshed two scrawny cedars together. Does that make us weird or something?

(You don’t have to answer that.)

Then there were the comments about my choice of tree décor. An “It’s sorta gaudy, Mom” to my face. A “lame” label behind my back. A reference to its Scandinavian influence by a visitor. Who knew?

In retrospect, I believe they were all speaking of my use of trailing tulle. What can I say? You try to make a tree with half its back missing look good without some fluff and stuff. It isn’t easy.

And, yes, I admit the paper-mache star droops a bit (every year).

I know the strands of pearls are a bit too Victorian.

I realize we need more lights. (I’m waiting for the LED craze to plateau.)

So as I’m reaching for a (now) rigid limb and pulling down the jewel strands I so happily bought at an after-Christmas sale at Metrocenter two decades ago (before teenagers who use words like “lame” were part of the picture), I consider throwing them out. (The strands, not the teenagers.)

Why not mix things up on the tree next time around? I guess I’m game. After all, things are different at our house every year now anyway, from additional stockings on the mantle to homemade pizzas on the table at our Christmas Eve’s Eve celebration. We even wore crazy patriotic socks (my mother-in-law included) to Christmas dinner to honor our away Marine.

Yes. Something different in the way of decorating next year. Why not?

I walk to the laundry room and toss the tulle. Done. Finis. Now, to complete the rest of the tree task.

Hey, where did everybody go?

Well, there you have it. I guess some things never change.

Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com.