"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"


Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas 2000: The Year of the Sequoia

Sometimes it’s hard to judge just how big a Christmas tree is when it’s closed up like an umbrella and bundled with twine.

I only knew that this was a tall one. We needed tall. We had a high vaulted ceiling.

And we knew that this one had a bad side, but that’s o.k. It was going in a corner.

For some reason, even though we had cut this tree ourselves and had seen it’s shape and size in person, it was hard to put that in perspective with the size and shape of our living room. In the however-many-acre tree farm, the tree seemed relatively small, and compared to the other trees around it, it might have been big but not ginormous.

But when you put a tree in your living room, the points of reference for size are no longer barns, cows and Europe. The points of reference are smaller things like end tables, couches and preschool girls.

So standing there still wrapped in twine in the corner, this tree looked gloriously tall. I could swear it had grown two more feet on the way home.

It was time to cut the string and release the branches. Well, if the tree had grown 2 feet taller on the way home, it evidently had also grown 12 feet WIDER as well. The branches flung out after being relieved of their girdle, and I ran for cover. Try to picture any of those action flicks with explosions where you watch Bruce Willis running toward the camera while a fireball is lapping at his heels, the force of which propels him, blackens his skin and rips his clothes, leaving him breathless and in a heap.

…moments later, I awoke in the opposite corner of the room, skin blackened, clothes torn, breathless, heaped.

I looked across what once had been my living room, and all I saw now was tree. There was no couch, only tree. No carpet, only tree. Where once there had been air to breathe, all that remained now in all directions was tree. Cindy and I laughed for a long time, but it was that nervous kind of laugh like when you accidentally lean against your car and it rolls over a cliff and all you CAN do is laugh because you just can’t believe that you’re watching your car flipping end over end before landing upside down on the rocks below. So we’d just sit together on the couch in the front yard (I’m telling you there WAS no room inside) and laugh and laugh and laugh…and cry.

Friends would drop in, and the first thing they would do was offer their condolences, “That sure is a big tree.”

And we would say, “Here, let me take your coat. If you’ll just press your body up against the wall like this and duck a little, you can shimmy over like this and maneuver your way to the bedroom where the party is because we no longer have a living room…ever since OUR TREE ATE IT.”

4 comments:

Tyna said...

Ahhh, I so understand! This year we have a dead tree. There are 10 more days till Christmas and the tree is dry, brittle, losing needles every second. It's full of water, it's just not soaking any up...grrrr!

Emily said...

hey, your wife had a picture of it on her blog...where's your picture of this Godzilla tree?

Cindy said...

I'll track a photo down asap.

Tech Daddy said...

That's a great story. Thanks for sharing.