You think my Christmas arrangement was bad?
You should see our Christmas tree this year.
Last year, I chose the tree myself– and suffered a thousand criticisms because it was so small. No-one would admit what I knew: this tree was tiny but perfect.
This year, my husband and younger daughter were sure they’d do better. They drove to a tree farm, hopped onto the farmer’s tractor-pulled wagon…
Until they brought it home. Neither could explain how their perfect tree turned into a strange creature with few branches on one side, even fewer on the other – and a bare backside, to boot.
Truth is, our family has a really bad record when it comes to picking Christmas trees: too tall or too short, too thin or too fat, too sparse.
The first winter we spent at my husband’s family farmhouse years ago, getting the tree was a no-brainer. We’d simply walk down the hill of the 100-acre farm to where the spruce trees grew, and cut one.
It was particularly snowy that year. We slipped and slid down the long hill, Barclay the dog beside us. But we cut the “perfect tree” and tied a rope around it. Then came the long journey uphill. We slipped and slid again and our knees nearly buckled in the deep snow.
We eyed Barclay, now grown and strong, wondering if we could tether the rope to him and have him do the work, but abandoned that idea swiftly. He was having a lot of fun eating the snow or digging himself out of it.
“What use are you?” we teased him. “We sure could use your help right now.”
By the time we reached the top of the hill, the branches on the tree’s bottom side were battered and broken. To hide the damage, we positioned the tree’s flat side against one wall of the large dining room, but what a sad thing it was.
“It’s a Charlie Brown tree,” I told everyone that year. “It’s got a charm all its own.”
“A tree only our family could love,” my husband muttered, shaking his head in disappointment.
This year, despite all the ornaments, our daughter was shaking her head in disappointment, while her father kept claiming that the tree “has character”.
But that tree gave me a chance to feel like a domestic diva. As you know, that’s a rare thing.
I fetched the branches that my husband had cut from the bottom of the tree, and some peacock feathers, and tried to fool the eye into thinking the tree wasn’t as bad as it was.
Or maybe the only eye that got fooled was mine. Oh, well….
From the home of imperfect Christmas arrangements and trees – I wish you peace, love and joy.
ALL PHOTOS BY H. GRANGE