O Tannenbaum: The Story of Lewis

On Saturday, we made the long trek (ok fine, five minute drive) to the wilderness (a muddy lot filled with trees) in search of the perfect Christmas tree.  The selection was overpriced and far from "perfect”, but I wanted a tree and I wanted it now.  This is where we found Lewis.

Who the heck is Lewis, you ask?  Good question.  Well, Lewis is our tree.  Why did we name our tree, you ask?  Stupid question.  Why is the sky blue?  Why is 1+1 equal to 2?  They just are.

Anyway.  We loaded Lewis into the truck and took him home.  He settled in relatively quickly and uneventfully.  The only thing was, once he was set up, we noticed Lewis was kind of scrawny.  He was very tall, but not very fat.  He also had a massive gap on one side, like he was missing a row of branches.  Definitely an underdog sort of tree.  Which is how he got the name Lewis, in honor of one of the most lovable underdogs ever.


My tree may be scrawny, but it’s still my Christmas tree!  So, Nathan and I set out to decorate Lewis and make him as beautiful as possible.  We hung the heavier ornaments above his gap to balance it out, and basically made him look like the King of the Trees.


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I was happy, Nathan was happy, and Lewis was just thirsty.  We all lived in harmony and I spent the next several days admiring the beauty of my underdog tree.  Then came Tuesday night.

It was about 9:30 pm.  I was home alone and upstairs getting ready for bed, when suddenly I heard a massive CRASH from downstairs.  What the . . . NOOOOOO!  I knew immediately, but I just couldn’t believe it.  Until I ran downstairs, turned on the light, and found the wreckage.


Clearly, the tree Lewis took the movie Lewis’ motto of “keep moving forward” much too literally.

My first thought was, “You have to be kidding me”.  My next thought was, “Hmmm.  This would actually be funny, if it wasn’t my tree.”  My third thought was, “Ugh, I am way too tired to deal with this.  I’ll just let Nathan deal with it when he gets home.”  Then I saw the broken ornament.  And I started picturing all of my Mary’s Angels, wedding ornaments, and my grandma’s ornaments broken.  And then I had my meltdown, in which I called my dad crying. 

After calming me down (although I swear I heard a tiny bit of laughing in the background, MOM), my dad told me to get all the ornaments off the tree and then let Nathan fix the rest when he got home.  So, I did that, and amazingly the one broken ornament I had seen was the only broken ornament.  And while Nathan was fond of the ornament, it is not an irreplaceable ornament.  So, content with that, I texted Nathan a picture of the carnage and went to bed.

Flash forward to the next morning.  I wake up at 5:30 to my alarm clock.  At 5:31, I receive a text message from my dad:  “OK, how’s it going this morning?”.  At 5:32, I hear a familiar crash, and my husband yelling a four letter expletive.  Uh-oh . . .

I sleepily made my way downstairs, to see Lewis in a familiar spot on the floor, and Nathan glaring angrily at him from the couch.  He had come home from work, put Lewis back up, and redecorated him exactly as before by working off a picture on my computer.  He had then sat down to have something to eat . . . and Lewis had decided to take another random, unexplained nosedive.  This time, Lewis managed to take out two ornaments, including one of my grandma’s.

Luckily, I have the best husband in the universe.  Despite the fact that he had been awake for nearly 18 hours and was coming off a 10 hour shift at work, he stayed up while I got ready for work and worked on Lewis.  He put screws in the wall and secured Lewis to them with fishing wire.  He found a way to repair both broken ornaments.  Then he decorated Lewis again for the THIRD time.  The poor guy was up nearly two hours past his usual bedtime just to make my Christmas tree beautiful again.  He’s a keeper. 

Lewis, on the other hand, is on his last chance.  So is our tree stand.

But for now, all is quiet . . . and hopefully Lewis will stop moving forward and just sleep in heavenly peace.


The Intervention Season

Ah, December.  The season to be holly, jolly, merry, and eat your body weight in peanut brittle.  Does it get any better than December?  I think not.  Certain members of my family have insinuated that I have a Christmas obsession.  I like to think of it more as a deep love and obvious talent for all things sparkly, twinkly, and shiny.  Call it what you wish.  However, every once in a blue moon, something happens that makes me doubt myself and wonder if I have, in fact, gone Clark Griswold meets Buddy the Elf meets Kevin McAlister.

You might have a Christmas problem if . . .

The fact that every third song on your Pandora playlist is a different version of “Silver Bells” doesn’t annoy you, but instead brings you indescribable joy.

You go to Target to buy a bag of candy cane flavored Hershey’s Kisses.  You leave Target with eight bags of various Christmas candies.

You spend two solid hours unsuccessfully trying to identify songs from your parents’ 1992 Christmas mix tape on Shazam.

Upon reviewing your credit card statement the week after Thanksgiving, you see that you placed six Amazon orders between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, and this seems completely reasonable to you. 

Of half of these orders, you can’t seem to remember what items you may have purchased.

Upon realizing this, you think, “Yay!  It’ll be so much fun to be surprised when the mailman comes!”

Under the guise of admiration, you scope out your neighbors’ outdoor light displays, then demand your husband help you to create a display to “beat” them all.

Seeing a light up snowman displayed on your neighbor’s roof sends you into an immediate, frantic rush to assemble a light up tree and Santa on your front porch.

You proudly declare that you have finished your Christmas shopping before the first of December.  And then continue to buy presents like an out of control Becky Bloomwood.  (Two points for you if you know who Becky Bloomwood is!)

You begin quoting Clark Griswold on a daily basis, at every opportunity.

Your heart grows three sizes and you start actually answering the front door when someone knocks.

You keep an ever growing collection of non-working Christmas lights.  You never know when you might need a spare bulb.

Your favorite Thanksgiving tradition is Christmas decoration inventory.

While driving around looking at Christmas lights, you become so distracted by a light up Santa and sleigh on someone’s roof that you blow straight through a stop sign.  And then try to blame it on your wife.

* * *

Problem?  What problem?  Yes, I have a special sort of love for December and Christmas.  But I don’t think that is a bad thing.  I just don’t understand those people who say they feel stressed out at this time of the year.  I honestly never feel happier or more relaxed than I do at Christmas.  I feel full of energy and love and excitement and I just want to share it with everyone!  As a wise elf once said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”  So I will keep playing my Christmas carols, baking my cookies, and eating all the Kit Kats out of the candy jar.  Because that’s how you do Christmas!