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Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh Cranky Tree, Oh Cranky Tree


Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
 

Mrs. C and I will not have a Christmas Tree in our house this year.  Oh I still love Christmas Trees.  For me they officially start the season.  I guess we are getting just old enough where we can start the season with other people’s trees.  I have gone through the Christmas tree evolution. It starts with enthusiastically picking and decorating a tree every year, and ends with throwing an ornament on a ficus plant and calling it a day.

When I was a young man, and the children of the house demanded a tree, getting the tree was a tradition and a production.  In the earliest years, we bought a cut tree from the mall parking lot.  Size was of utmost importance, a seven foot tree was the goal.  The branches had to be of perfect length and shape, and there must not be any bare spots.  Finding this perfect tree often took well over an hour.

Once chosen, it was another production putting the tree up.   It seems it went in the same room every year, but only after trying it out in several other rooms first.  Getting the tree to stand perfectly straight was near impossible as any bend in the trunk would throw it off straight from at least one view point.
Finally after decorating the tree it’s beauty could be enjoyed…until the needles began their inevitable decent to the floor as no matter how much it was watered, even with the fresh cut to the bottom and a daily dose of aspirin the tree was nearly bare of needles by Three Kings Day when decorations come down.

One year my wife had the brilliant idea of using a live tree.  A local tree farm would sell live trees for the price of a cut tree, as long as you dug it out yourself.

Shovel in hand we went off to the farm, found a suitable tree and commenced to dig it out, saving the roots in a large ball wrapped in burlap.  Do you know how much a balled live tree weighs?  I’m going to guess about 175 pounds and it is all distributed in one place.  Getting that tree to the car, then out and in the house, and finally after trying the usual rooms settling in the same place the tree always went, my back was shot. 

The advantage of the live tree was it would not lose its needles and after Three Kings Day we would plant it in the back yard where it would grow and fill in a naked spot.

Turns out that to keep a tree alive over the winter you need to dig a large hole in the place you intend to eventually plant it.  If you do not dig that hole before the ground freezes your tree will not survive the winter.

 I did not dig a hole in the back before the ground froze. 

Our live tree did not make it to spring. 

Every time I bend over and my back sends an electric shock down my leg I think about that friggin tree.

We now have an artificial tree.  It is in a box in the basement.  It is a pain in the ass to put together.  It is a pain in the ass to take it down and put it back in the box.  This year it is staying in the box.

My son has a beautiful tree.

11 comments:

  1. Nooooo Cranky say it isn't so a artificial tree.....How about just a small Charlie Brown Tree...No...not just a little one :0)

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  2. This is our first year of not having a tree--we're both too old & decrepit to put it up & decorate it & then undecorate it & take it down again. We've got lots of stuffed Santa's, reindeer & elves, though!!

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  3. We just recently started doing the fake tree thing as it is hard for me to see the needles on the floor now. I miss the smell of the fresh cut ones but at least I have a tree so I'm not complaining. My grandparents did the same thing this year. In fact they didn't decorate at all. Since I take my stuff down right after Christmas I'm begining to think not decorating is the way to go. :)

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  4. Heh, heh. The next step is when your adult kids decide Dad needs a tree and they bring one into your room at the home and decorate it for you.

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  5. I'm not really sure where I am in the Christmas tree evolution, but throwing an ornament on a Ficus and calling it good sound pretty reasonable to me.

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  6. It's the thought that counts.
    I grew up around someone who was absolutely anal about the look of the tree... spoiled the entire experience

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  7. I'm willing to let the tree slide since we don't have any small kids around but Mrs. C won't hear of it. The tree is artificial but is, like yours, a pain to put together. I've been told that NO TREE, NO BAKING. The tree goes up!

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  8. Ours is a little table top model that works fine for us. If we want to see a bigger one we go to see our town's official tree in the park. I don't put it up. I don't take it down. Perfect!

    Merry Christmas Cranky & Family. :)

    S

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  9. sorry cranky we are putting up a tree. its time to head to the basement! its a small table top with the lights already on it. but what do you care, you don't decorate it anyway. at least not in the 4 yrs i've known you.
    so to all you followers, don't worry, cranky will have a tree by the end of the weekend. happy holidays! mrs. c

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  10. jaha My heart and back feel ya Cranky! Personally, we never took down the lights or tiny trees from our mantel...

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  11. Ooh, it never occurred to me to replant our live trees! A new task for my husband! I wonder if it's too late for this year.

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