Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I've Been Christmas Tree Damaged

On Wednesday night... the night before Thanksgiving, I was coming home from Karate when I noticed a car zipping by with a Christmas tree attached to its top. I did a double take. Something seemed inherently wrong with buying a tree before Thanksgiving. It was like on November 16th when I took my kids with me to Publix and the kid at the register said to me, "Santa is coming tonight. Are you bringing back your kids?"
I replied, "NOoooooo, it is not even Thanksgiving yet. We don't do Santa until AFTER Thanksgiving."
He pressed on, "But he'll be here tonight..." and I stopped him and said, "You may decorate for Christmas before Halloween. You may put out the Christmas baking section on 1 November. But... you cannot thrust Santa upon us BEFORE Thanksgiving. I won't do it."
He smiled and just said, "I understand." So when I called my Mom incredulously on Wednesday night and said, "You will not believe this, but I just saw a guy with a tree on his car and it's not even Thanksgiving!" she replied, "It is the tradition of some to decorate their tree on Thanksgiving."

Oh. Yeah. I forgot. I've just been so appalled at how early everything has been this year, I had forgotten NOW it REALLY IS time.

I could not buy my tree this early. I am damaged from a childhood incident, forever preventing me from buying a tree before Mid-December. I was 15 or 16 I believe. Maybe not even that old. We were traveling to The Great Omnipotent One's parent's home in Birmingham for Christmas. Grandaddy used to get so excited about our coming that he would start food shopping 3 months out. That Thanksgiving, he went out and bought a tree. He couldn't wait.

In the family room that great tree stood. I wouldn't be surprised if it was just hammered to 2 x 4's. I am sure it never received water. It does get cold in Birmingham and Granny was a wisp of a thing, probably standing all of 4'11 at the time and weighing barely 90 pounds... she was always cold. So the dry heat stayed on.. Grandaddy had those old fashioned Christmas lights, those big bulbs that put out some serious heat.

We arrived and saw this enormous.... dry... tree. You would walk by the tree and the air movement from you gait would send hundreds of dried pine needles to the floor. It wasn't carpeted, so you could hear them as they hit. Did I say that tree was dry? Dry, I tell you, it was dry. It was scary dry.

....It was SOOOOoooo dry, that Christmas morning came, we all huddled around the tree anxiously, it was time to turn the tree on. 1...2...3... the tree was turned on, everyone quickly said, "ooooohhh!' Ahhhhhh!" and you heard an adult in the back yell, "OK, Turn her off!" and 'plink' the lights went off as it was quicly unplugged from the socket. We were all afraid it was going to spontaneously combust.

When they dragged that tree out of the house, there was a trail of pine needles like I have never seen since. I am unsure there were any needles left on the tree when it was finally hauled to the backyard.

So if we do a live tree, I cannot buy it too early. I know, keep it watered... yeah, well, that might work, but I'm not trying it. Mid December works. And we have a fake one too.


Blogger Caltechgirl said...

heh. For me, it's the day after. And the tree stays up until after epiphany. Of course, we water copiously. The trade off is that I'm not allowed (by my husband) to start Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving because he knows that as soon as I start, I don't stop.....

10:43 PM  
Blogger Quality Weenie said...

Tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving, comes down the day after Christmas.

Fake tree's are the way to go! It gets to be a tradition to have the same tree for your entire years growing up.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Back when we lived in the colder northern climate, Mom and I had a ritual for getting our tree. We also did it two weeks before the big day and it came down on New Year's Day.

Last night Darling Hubby bought me a new tree (love the fake ones down here!) It's all white and I'm looking forward to getting it decorated!

11:27 AM  
Blogger Stu said...

Our tradition is to put the tree up on the weekend after Thanksgiving and to take it down the weekend after new years day. Mostly because we're too lazy to take it down on New Year's day.

I like putting up the tree early so we get more time to enjoy it and it helps get us in the Christmas spirit. We have a real artificial tree. I'm trying to figure out what a fake tree is. Would that be a broom that you pretend is a tree? Maybe it's a coat rack that thinks it's a tree? Our tree is artificial, but it's real :)

2:23 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

It varies when the tree goes up over here, but most people clear away the decorations by January 6th, Feast of the Epiphany, and the "twelfth day of Christmas".

My birthday is in mid-December, so my family used to put the tree up on that day, to try to make up for the "combination birthday and Christmas" gifts I'd get from relatives. If I'm born again, I'm going for a June birthday ;-)

4:33 PM  
Blogger VW said...

I would love a live tree... but don't want the trouble that goes with it. I usually get a few branches from my neighbor's tree (they always put up a live one) and make a wreath. That way I have the smell of the tree without the needles and water. GRIN.

5:26 PM  

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