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A Tree For Thee

Not our actual tree, parquet floors or full moon.

Not our actual tree, parquet floors or full moon.

We survived the holiday weekend, but I’m being proactive with combatting any weight I gained, by cooking up all the noodles and cheese in the house and eating all of it today. Less temptation for being sidetracked when I’m cleansing the house of chocolate tomorrow. The Spirit of Holiday Eating, it’s upon me. Yes, all Kellermans are now ready for Christmas. I simply wasn’t ready to go whole hog yet.

“Whole hog” here is a euphemism for getting a Christmas tree. Shoddily written? Absolutely, but the world’s 158,002,502nd best wordsmith does what she can.

Doesn’t change this scenario…

“I got the tree.”

I looked up from the stove, where I was delicately crafting fifteen slices of beef into a French Dip sandwhich. “You can’t have gotten the tree. I haven’t even put the provolone on this thing. I’m not really mentally prepared to handle anything else.”

As if he hadn’t heard my internal monologue, Husband dragged seven feet of pine through the kitchen door and propped it up in the living room. “Ok, let’s get the decorations out of the attic.”

“But I just put them back up there three months ago.”

He shook his head and started hoisting himself through the crawlspace. “I’ll push them out and you catch.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas trees, but the implications of putting the tree up a month before said holiday, when you have small children, is nothing short of dire. (For a complete guide to having a tree and a toddler, click here.) But, besides the fact decking our new friend in lights thirty days before Christmas meant thirty days of protecting it, the fact stood that I simply hadn’t planned on launching into a full fledged family project, a mere half hour before bedtime.

“Ok, I’m going to take a shower.”

Before I could protest, Husband bounded up the stairs and left me surrounded by three children, a tangle of bulbs, and a giant tub of things conveniently shaped to be seraphic projectiles.

This is where men need work. Fifteen minutes to you might seem like a short time, but add a little tinsel and kids who haven’t slept all day, and that fifteen minutes just became the final scene of Armageddon.

Where, before, my plans had simply included eating a sandwich, I was now sorting ornaments and trying desperately to make sure the pewter Holy Family ended up at the top of the tree and not launched at someone’s temple. By the end of it, I sounded like Santa’s lesser known helper, Tourettes the Elf.

“Stop it.”
“Put that down.”
“That bear will break if you put all your weight on it.”
“Where’s your father?”
“Who let the baby plug in the lights?”
“Ask the baby if that second set worked.”
“If you climb the tree, it’ll fall over and kill you.”
“Did someone take a bite out of the fake cookie ornaments?
“I can’t find my sandwich.”

And on and on it went, until Husband tromped downstairs to a decorated tree and a wife with pine needles stuck in both her hair and craw.

“Looks great!.”

I nodded in agreement. “It’s missing some booze.”

“The tree?”

“Me.”

At the end of everything, Sundance looked at our masterpiece and declared in her small yet assertive voice, “I know its name.”

“What’s that?”

She nodded solemnly. “Rainbow. Rainbow Pink.”

So, the Rainbow Pink is up and we’ll be venturing out soon to grab a little more tinsel and a lot more scotch, but it looks to be a happy holiday season either way. All I ask is, if you’re going to request I put up all your ornaments, please give fair warning and let me finish my sandwich first.

Paige Kellerman blogs about marriage, babies and gin at www.paigekellerman.com, and is the author of At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles: Mostly-True Tales of An Impending Miracle. You can reach her at paigekellerman@gmail.com.


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