So I sucked it up and on Saturday we hauled the Beast out of the shed and assembled it. As I was putting the flimsy plastic stand together I noticed that one of the legs had a wee crack in it. I shrugged to myself, as I sometimes do, and decided that budget permitting I'd shop for a new tree after the holidays.
We got it up and together, put the lights on (despite two of my three strings of lights being half-dead) and started decorating. I put on the breakable heirlooms and got a box of unbreakable ones together for the kids to put on at their leisure. I noticed as I was hanging stuff on it that it was a bit wobbly, but it was holding firm and I didn't give it another thought, even on Sunday night as I headed off to church for religious ed.
But when I got home, I saw immediately that the tree was leaning up against the wall. Not a good thing. "Larry," I says, "the tree is leaning against the wall!"
"I know," he says and proceeds to 'splain that Bug put an ornament on the tree and the whole thing gave way and almost landed on her. So he leaned it against the wall pending further investigation and/or decoration.
We tried jerry-rigging the thing. The leg was hanging by a thread like a five-year-old's loose tooth, so I mercilessly pulled it and tried to find something to brace that fourth side instead. We tried a lunchbox....too high. And a stack of Interweave Knits didn't do anything to hold the tree in place either. I thought perhaps an old stand that I had in the shed for a real tree might work, but the "trunk" of the fake tree was just too narrow.
Now, when Larry is lifting the tree so that I can "fix" the stand, the trunk of the tree separates into two, then three pieces and many of the individually assembled branches have come loose as well and are floating around tethered by a string of half-dead lights and plastic beads.
I looked at the clock and announced that I was going to Walmart to get a new tree. I couldn't leave it in fifteen separate pieces all day. It would drive me mental, for one, and while Dave's shown no interest so far in anything tree-related, it would stand to reason that a tree collapsing on itself would prove just too tempting to resist.
We've discussed my luck, have we not?
So, much like the Epic Costume Fail of 2009 in which I abandon the girls' homemade costumes in favor of a late-night run to the Walmart, I pull on my mittens and schlep to Tilton in search of a new, adequate artificial evergreen tree. And one that doesn't cost too much, because we are beee-roke.
But as luck would have it, someone died last week.
I know that's an awful thing to say. It was far from lucky for the family. It was a horrible death, a horrible time of year, and if there's one consolation I take in singing at funerals it's that often times music says what words can't say, and I'm glad to be able to offer that to the family. It's a ministry, and it's mine, and it means a lot to me to do. I would do it for free anyway.
But practically speaking, funerals are a paid gig and to get one right before Christmas when money is needed but moths are flying out of my wallet is lucky for me and mine. Perhaps God knew that if the stand hadn't broken that I wouldn't have spent the money on a new tree and put that dangerous, broken, tippy one up next year again. Who knows?
So I got to the Walmart and looked at the selection and to replace the tree I had would have cost nearly a hundred dollars. Didn't want to do that. But there were some smaller 6.5 foot trees that looked pretty good--prelit to boot--for $35. Drawback: ain't no WAY my ornaments are all going to fit on that little thing, cute as it is.
Then Poops got an idea. An awful idea. Poops got a wonderful, AWFUL idea.
Well, not awful...frickin' brilliant if you ask me. I got the $35 shorter, thinner tree AND a 3 foot pre-lit tree for another $18. The little tree is for the kids to put the ornaments on that they make in school, and the ones that I give them every year for when they're grown and have trees of their own.
We put them up, transferred the decorations from the old tree to the new ones, and I have to say that having the two trees next to each other is such a unique look that I really like it quite a lot. I didn't plan it, but like my Epic Halloween Fail of 2009, I came away much happier with the costumes I cobbled together at the last minute better than what was planned in the first place.
And the girls can go to school and tell all their friends, "We have TWO Christmas trees!"
Yep, we're like the freaking Rockefellers!