You know on those funniest video shows how they will show a montage of falling Christmas trees set to some bouncy Yuletide tune? I always thought, what the hell, how does your Christmas tree fall down? Well, last night I got to find out in a most unfortunate way.
I was trying to clean up the disaster the kids created while decorating this past week (or two, I'm not sure, all I know is there have been random Rubbermaid containers and bits of Christmas cheer strewn about the house for a while now). Anyway, I found some random ornaments in the bottom of a bin (Mom, they were the camel ornaments you brought from Abu Dhabi!). I decided those needed to go on the tree and hung a few. Strange, I thought, the tree seems a bit wobbly. Perhaps I should check this out?
So, I bend down and peer under the tree skirt (naughty!). I notice that one of the cheap plastic braces on the base of my cheap plastic tree is broken! Oh no! So, I scootch under the tree for closer inspection and suddenly, in slow motion, I hear and feel the tree start to fall (I can't actually SEE it falling at this point, because I am now UNDER the tree!). I quickly shoot my left hand up to brace the fall (thank God for yoga and strong arms, that sucker was heavy!). I am then required to use all my strength to stand up while holding this tree with one hand and trying to get it into an upright position.
Succeeding at that task, I now realize I am left, quite literally, holding the tree! What to do? Well, obviously I needed to fix the broken brace. And the only way to do that without laying the tree on it's side and breaking several ornaments in the process was to start "undecorating" the tree as fast as possible, using only my right hand! Ornaments, lights, branches - all of it off in under ten minutes! Finally, I have only the sad, pathetic, skinny base of the tree and I turn it upside down for further inspection. Yep, it's cracked almost clean through, with nary a few molecules of plastic holding it together.
So, now came the debate - fix or replace? Of course, being a woman, I immediately thought REPLACE! Visions of one of those "good" cheap plastic trees came to mind, perhaps even PRE-LIT! Ooohhh, it would be fuller, more "natural", perhaps even evoke a fake evergreen scent. But then, I heard the voice of Jeff in my head and that voice said "Duct tape!" So, I did my best surgery on the broken base with duct tape, several layers for strength (that stuff can hold anything right?). I put the branches back on, however, having to hastily undecorate the tree, I must say the branches were scattered all over the living room at this point, so matching them up by size proved to be a bit of a challenge. I did my best work in under five minutes and replaced all the branches. I think it looks more natural this way, you know, like in nature when not all the branches are perfect.
The lights lay in an impossible tangled heap. What to do? I heard the voice of Jeff again and it said "Leave them for me, darling! I'll replace them when I get home." And so I left to attend a little holiday party. Upon my return, Jeff and Arlie had arrived home with question marks on their faces. I explained the circumstances (and offered my condolences to Arlie upon the untimely demise of The Litttle Mermaid ornament who was both decapitated and disembowled in the unfortunate accident), and set Jeff to replacing the lights.
Then, in the utmost moment of spousal stupidity, Jeff actually ADMITTED that he KNEW the brace was broken BEFORE we decorated the tree! I........I..........I have no words for this. Why would he knowingly put our ornaments and my life in danger? I was home alone when this happened. Perhaps, had I not possessed strong yoga arms, I might not have caught the tree before it crushed me and severed my spine! I would lay there, suffering and gasping my last breath while inhaling plastic needles and seeing camel ornaments in my blurry vision! Oh, the tragedy!
After berating him for his obvious lack of interest in the safety of both my life and our precious decorations, I suggested he find a way to stabilize the tree. His answer? "How about if I go get one of those old tires on the side of the house and put the tree in that?" His answer to the gaping open mouths on mine and Arlie's faces was "What? The tree skirt will cover it?" to which Arlie replied "You might be a redneck........."
Now the tree stands (barely), lights on, decorations still hesitantly waiting on the coffee table. Should I redecorate it? Should we tie the tree to the wall to prevent this tragedy from happening again? Or should I chuck the whole thing and go buy a new tree? 'Tis the season!