Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Perfect Tree

My husband constantly reminds me that things don't have to be "perfect".
And I constantly remind him- oh yes, actually they do.
God knew what he was doing when he created a laid back-go with the flow- it's all good-type of guy with let's make a plan to plan-make it perfect-must be precise-can't ignore the fudged details type of gal.
And its a good thing. Because me being married to me would be catastrophic.
But I have the best intentions. Honest. I see something and want to do my very best.
Somewhere along the line, someone must have decided perfection was attainable, because I swear I kill myself every day trying to get there. No such luck as of yet.
So now that you know the background to my little saga and I've set the's what happened.
Hallmark Version: My Soldier FINALLY has a day off when we can get a Christmas Tree.
So, as a Christmas enthusiast, I decide to make a day of it.
We'll find a local tree farm and drive out. There will be rows and rows of beautiful trees to choose from like on the Hallmark Channel. The owners will have beautiful wreathes on display and homemade donuts and hot chocolate. If it snows, they even have a horse-drawn sleigh!!
It will be a day of memories to be made and maybe finally I can get my easy-going hubby to get excited for once! He doesn't get into Christmas, or birthdays. or any holiday really...
Real Life Version: We set out for the hour drive to the tree farm I found online.
Our GPS thought it would be fun to have us do a few extra loops and swoops,
you know- 30 extra minutes of bonding time in the truck.
We finally reach our destination and pull onto the dirt road, my anticipation a mile high for the sight just over the hill. Rows and rows and rows of trees! All skinny, scrawny and all of 3 feet tall.
Not entirely what I envisioned in my perfectly planned Christmas outing.
No worries, we'll find that one perfect 6 foot tree on the lot. If it takes all day.
We parked and walked into the little store filled with sweet smelling wreathes and pine cones.
There were homemade donuts, before someone ate them all. And there were hot chocolate packs if the water was hot. But still, no worries, the shop was filled with adorable ornaments,
some homemade and others collected from various shops around the local towns.
 It was a Christmas ornament museum, but that would have to wait.
Hubby of course is on a mission. We came for a tree. Divide and Conquer. Then leave.
So we found an employee and asked how it worked.
"How what works? What do you want to know?"
"Finding a tree...can we just have at it and drive the lot? Do you have saws? How does this work?"
"Saws in the red shed. Pick whatever and bring it down. We'll tag it." (and walks away)
Ok then. Off to the red shed to find a saw! 20 minutes late after evaluating each and every row of trees, none even came close to catching my eye. Tiny and scrawny.
This Christmas HAS to have a perfect tree.
Next year I can have a 3 foot one....
So back to the store we go. We'll just pretend we cut it down. Pick one of the pre-cuts that are taller.
We picked a beauty. Tagged it, paid and asked if they had a baler to tie it.
"Yap. Hold on."....... "You're good." (and walks away)
Fabulous customer service. Thank you for the treasured Christmas memories made...
Finally loaded in the truck, we begin the trek home (without the GPS' help)
And I, being a perfectionist and a whiner, start to complain about my dashed dreams.
And My Soldier, being a fixer and mood lightener, starts to make jokes about Christmas traditions.
Silly ornaments, stupid irritating lights that give seizures, sticky trees and inflated gift giving...
all to try and make my unattainable vision sound less dramatic and not a "big deal"...
My mission for Christmas excitement. fail.
So I sulk. And apologize that I dragged him half way across the state for a dumb tree that we could have picked at the end of our street where they set up shop for trees and wreathes to be sold.
I decide to shake it off and delve into dreaming of what our tree will look like with our new decorations and sparkling white lights. At home we unload, bring the tree in and set it up in our brand new stand.
Our brand new stand which doesn't work because the base is wayyyyy too big.
And my amazing hubby runs to the basement to return with several small blocked pieces of wood.
He makes a shim to support the tree and accommodate for the abnormally wide base.
Its perfect!! Perfectly smelling, perfectly straight,perfectly 6 foot beautiful Christmas tree!
We put on the lights, the garland and decide to wait until after dinner to finish with the ornaments.
It was then that I realized, a slight, um...tilt of the tree.
Gradually, little by little sliding towards the wall. No one would ever know unless you walked across the room to admire it from another angle. But its still crooked. A crooked Christmas tree.
So what do I do? Sulk. Its not perfect, its crooked. We need to fix it. So we tried, screw bolts in tighter, turn the tree to different angle. Add another support block of wood. Nada.
I just wanted it to be a perfect tree, for a perfect Christmas while he was home.
I wanted to look back and remember this year and smile.
And you know what my sweet husband said?
It is baby. It is perfect because I am with you.
We have a beautiful tree. We made memories that we'll laugh about forever.
There is nothing missing. Its perfect.
And you know what? He's right. We have a perfect, crooked Christmas tree.
One I will never forget the memory of decorating it with My Soldier.
And I love it.
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