Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When good trees go bad.

I didn't post for a day, I know. But I have a good reason.

My Christmas tree tried to kill me.

Last night I had the bright idea to take the Christmas decorations down...I've been meaning to do it for a while, but kept hoping that some kind of magic Christmas clean up elves would show up and take care of it for me.

We had a live tree the first time since Ava was born this year, and it wasn't that we haven't had a tree...we have a big artificial tree in the attic, but thinking about getting it down gave me a headache, and then I went into the hospital, and somewhere in the middle of all of that we were offered a live tree and that seemed much simpler to deal with.

Since it has been so long since we've had a real tree, I completely forgot that trees need water, and as a result, the tree was bone dry and shedding like mad. After the kids went to bed I jumped right in and started un-trimming the tree, which is not nearly as fun as trimming it, by the way. Every ornament that I pulled off caused a small explosion of pine needles, a little tornado or hurricane or tsunami or whatever storm you have in your geographical area of dry pine needles raining down onto the floor and then migrating to every toy and piece of furniture in the living room. As if that wasn't enough, pulling the ribbons and lights off basically made the tree freak out and release every needle in it's branches, leaving it embarrassed and cowering in front of the window, half naked.

But it still wasn't over. Do you know how hard it is to get a tree out of the house? I didn't because that was never something I took care of. I stared at the tree for a while, calculating how far in I would have to reach to grab the trunk, whether I would need two hands or one, flinching in preparation for a branch shooting right into my eye, which I was positive would happen. I propped the door open so I'd have a clear pathway, and the frigid 28 degree air (I live in Florida. 28 is FREEZZING) attacked me.

Finally I bit the bullet and grabbed the tree, trying to head toward the door with it, but the unwieldy sucker threw itself sideways and went down hard. The tree stand, which I could have sworn was empty, spilled freezing cold water all over my pretty hard wood floors, puddling around all the toys that I suddenly could see had been hidden underneath our fancy tree skirt (which is just a plain old blanket). I kind of began to cry, but the tears froze immediately on my cheeks thanks to the weather and I finally dragged the tree outside and left it on the front porch.

Then I walked back inside and noticed that the tree had not, in fact, lost all of it's needles during the untrimming process, and that it had lost a lot more during our skirmish to make it out the door. My floor was roughly six inches deep in pine needles and hidden under and around them like little bits of treasure were DVDs and toys that had been hidden. And they were all, the floor and the needles and the toys, soaking wet.

This is the point at which I admitted that it was getting ugly. I dug through the needles like they were a carnival treasure hunt game to retrieve all the toys, even though I wanted to just toss it all out with the trash. I swept the floor 72 times and then steam mopped about three times. I de-needled the toys and DVDs, and yet every time I walked into the living room, pine needles had appeared once again. They were breeding, or calling all their kin together to stage a revolt or something, and it was making me insane. Finally, after multiple hours of chasing down all the stupid little sharp needles, I admitted defeat and came to terms with the fact that I will be finding them in my house until next Christmas, when you better believe I will be dragging that artificial tree out of the attic no matter what it takes.

And the shedding tree in question, by the way, is now standing next to my front door. If I had to put money on it, I would bet that it will be there for quite some time as well, because as long as I can't see that sucker inside, there is very little chance of me engaging it for a second round just to get it to the curb. It kind of looks like it's supposed to be there...I think I can make it work. Luckily our neighborhood isn't deed restricted, so I might be able to get away with it for a while!
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