Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Tree Calamities! Have YOU ever had one?

OK, so I'm waiting for my little sister, Marijo, to come out to my house so we can commence with the infamous yearly Christmas Tree Decorating adventure. Though growing up it was much more adventuresome as she and I would ride our horses up into the woods, pick out a tree, then hike up later with our big brother to retreive it. Joe always enjoyed the trek, both up, as he would throw stuff at us the entire time, and back down, as he would make US carry the tree with him STILL throwing things at us all the way back down. Ah the priviledge of being the one with the talent for wielding the ax! Suffice to say, it's been at least eight years since a tree has met it's untimely demise from our property, they being far too tall now to deal with. So gaks, and gasp! I've been paying for one ever since.
Of course, when you're a single gal, getting a tree can be just as challenging even though you are paying to chop one down. I'm not a skilled tree chopper and can't lift a nine foot tree by myself so I usually bribe ... oh I mean coerce ... er .. ah... ask kindly of some unsuspecting gent (usually my brother in law or best friend's husband, to wield the ol ax, carry the body, hoist it onto the top of the jeep where it is quickly lashed for transport, take it off the jeep at the house, and of course, get said tree into the house, and into its stand. The price of tree transport has gone up over the years. I used to get away with a batch of chocolate chip cookies as payment. Now it's full taco dinners for said help and their family! But it's fun!
To make the task ever more adventurous, one has to get all the decorations down from the attic. We prepare ourselves by putting on our gloves, hats, anything that can be used for armor against the eight legged masses, and our cans of raid. (Hey, it's a log cabin!) Years ago the only thing one had to worry about are what we call around these parts as simply 'wood spiders' which, can get pretty hefty in their own right. So much so that you can actually hear them walking on the wood next to you. Ewwwwwwwww ... unfortuneatly the wood spider population has diminished over the years when the "girls" moved in. When they moved in we're not sure, or perhaps they were always there but too few to make a decent showing. At any rate, Black Widows seem to have a taste for wood spiders, who in turn had a hankering for Hobo spiders, which are as nasty as the "girls". So you can see why we wait til we are armed to the teeth, then ascend!
After getting all the decorations down one has to sift carefully, to make sure no tag alongs made it down as well. I remember the year a nice big wood spider decided to take up residence in the baby Jesus's cradle of our nativity scene. He wasn't happy about being evicted but too bad! We threw him outside rather than "stone him". After making sure there aren't any decorations that are going to crawl off the tree by themselves, we can commence with the deocorating. After which we turn on the tree lights and oooo and ahhhh at our stunning achievement. Occasionally, however, after turning away from our task, knowing we've gotten through yet another year relatively unscathed, there has been the resounding CRASH!!!!!!
One has to weigh what is worse. Your tree falling over, visions of your mother's antique ornaments shattering on the floor flashing across your mind with your immediate demise soon following, or having to go up into the atic again for the spare ornaments. I learned the last time it happened, that it was a lot less frightening to go to the store to get more ornaments. But not near as adventuresome! So this year, should the tree take a dive, I've decided to make my lil sis go back up into the attic for the spares!!!!!!! OH! I think I hear her truck now!!!!!!!!!! Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ...... :)
So what sort of Christmas Tree calamity has befallen you?
Geralyn

1 comment:

ForstRose said...

Calamities gee well these may not quite qualify but then I never could top your adventures with anything so...

First of all real trees never made it into our house in my memory due to allergies myself included. However this was in the days before anyone got smart enough to build lights into the fake trees. I somehow earned the job of unknotting and hanging the lights on our tree on a yearly basis (one time patience didn't pay off). Talk about nightmare a half dozen strings of lights all twisted and tangled to be undone laid out and checked for dead bulbs - ahhhh!!! And of course only way to find culprits was to try every socket in a string that wasn't lighting till finding the right one.

No creepy crawlies allowed in this abode as I just don't deal with them or heights for that matter - thank goodness I could reach the top of a 5-6 foot tree with nothing more than a foot stool.

Probably the most interesting year was back in the day when I nannied for four kids and they got an early Christmas gift of two yes two not one kittens. Add to the two very young kittens a live Christmas tree - hmm ok climbing gym invitation if I ever saw one. And yes they climbed it all right and tried to walk out the branches a few times too.

Cats and trees in the same room no go ever again. Not sure how many ornaments they broke that year but I somehow ended up cleaning up the remains of their climbing expeditions many times.