Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Trappings of Christmas

So, last week, I had this vision that this week would be so much better for writing.  I just knew after the long and laborious week I'd had that I'd be so overwhelmed with relief, joyous emotion, and excessive amounts of free time that inspiration would flood over me and I'd be writing timeless works from the deepest depths of my soul.....so touching, so masterful, so brilliant that they would surely find their way into the annals of literary history.   

Well, here it is Tuesday at midnight and I'm just trying to peck out enough gibberish to count as a post.  Of course, last week, in my visions, I didn't see a pile of 100 unaddressed Christmas cards in my sunroom or hear dead needles falling off of my tree and onto the presents every time the air conditioner comes on.  Yeah, you heard me.  The air conditioner.  My visions didn't include a continuation of this freakish Memorial Day weather we're having down here....which may have us all throwing the turkeys on the grill with a pan of baked beans if it keeps up.  I also don't recall thinking that this week would still find me so busy that my pots and pans would not get above room temperature for a second week in a row or that my to do list would grow to approximately 3/4 mile either.

Suffice it to say that Christmas is not the most productive time for a blogger of my low caliber.  But, I will limp along through the holidays with you as I refuse to bail ship.  You may, very well, want to jump overboard.......with a concrete block tied around your neck.....but I will not abandon the blog.  It may not be pretty, but I will drag myself across the finish line which is Christmas. 
                  
So, in an effort to increase this post's word count, let's talk about our tree not drinking......for the second year in a row.  Kelly left a comment on my last post that she'd seen an article on how to solve this problem.  You pour boiling water into the tree stand and the hot water melts the hardened sap and allows it to take up water.  Well, that sounded reasonable to me....with my BS degree in Horticulture with an emphasis in Retail Floral Management and all.  There was only one problem......the tree stand was already full of cold water.  What was I to do?

First of all, there was no room between the tree trunk and the tree stand in which to scoop water out, so I got the pump out of a spray bottle and decided to spray the water out into a large bowl.  And so it came to pass that I slithered up under the tree in a prone position into the tight 8 inches of clearance between the floor and the lowest branches.  With needles sticking into the back of my neck and pushing presents aside as I went, I stuck the end of the pump sprayer into the tree water and started spraying it into the bowl.  Squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt.  After what seemed like the life expectancy of a hamster, I had siphoned all of 8 oz. of water out of the 45 gallon stand and my right hand was gnarled with cramps.  Every now and then the sprayer would slip out of control and I'd spritz myself in the face but I thought how that would feel pretty good in the event of my electrocution.  I decided I needed to change hands, so slid out of the tree, flipped over onto my back and went back in so I could pump a while with my left hand.  Squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt.  The dead needles falling into my corneas as I looked up through the maze of wires, lights, and extension cords. 

Finally, I'd lowered the water level enough to pour in the boiling water.  I filled the stand with the scorching, hot liquid.  It looked like a witch's cauldron bubbling and steaming.  I filled it to the top and couldn't wait until morning to see how much water it had taken in. 

Well, I'll tell you how much.  Not a drop.  I feel like this would've worked if I'd tried it sooner.  I'm thinking it was meant for trees that weren't as far gone as ours was.  Ours had apparently long since flat-lined......and already had a toe tag.  Not only had it seen the light, but it had gone to it.  No amount of boiling water could ever bring it back.  And it wouldn't want to come back even if it could. 

So, I continue to listen to the needles fall gently onto the wrapping paper and I close my eyes and think of it as really loud snow.  And we all know there's nothing more beautiful than a loud snow.      

I was taking inventory of all the things about Christmas that make us crazy.  Trees that won't drink. Christmas lights that go out after you get them strung.  Standing in line behind those irritating people who don't have their method of payment ready when it's their turn.  Drivers who don't have any business operating a moving vehicle.  Back to the store for that one missing ingredient.  Parking.  Coupon codes.  Children screaming.  People coughing.  One checkout line.  Out of stock.  Some assembly required.
                     
Christmas can get like that.  We've got our lists.  Our shoulders start to tighten.  We get so busy.  Places to go.  Parties to attend.  Groceries to buy.  Food to cook.  People to visit.  So many details to oversee.  So many gifts to wrap.  So many dead things to water. 

We can be swallowed up by all the trappings of Christmas and walk right past the baby and not even notice Him.  The quiet, little baby.  He doesn't scream out for our attention like all that other stuff.  He just waits for us to remember Him.   

Christmas gets so loud and off course. 

When it gets to be too much, we can find quiet at the manger.

There is always peace there.         


Night y'all!             

8 comments:

  1. We had a tree once that died before Christmas. It was crazy, sad and funny at the same time. We had a fake now for some time. I just got tired of the mess and the fake one looks very nice.

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    1. I know. I should just give in. But, you wouldn't believe how good this dead tree smells, Debbie.

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  2. I'm right there with you on the tree troubles. I did all the right things, sawed the bottom off and even filled the stand with hot water from the start. Nary a drop has mine drunk...Oh well, we can sing, "O Crispy Tree, O Crispy Tree", how lovely were your branches!"

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    1. Hahahaha......I love that.....O Crispy Tree, indeed. I don't know about yours, but my dead tree smells soooooo good. I don't care what they say, sheespatti, you just don't get that with plastic. Merry Christmas. May your tree not catch fire.

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  3. El Nino isn't helping with the tree. Hopefully Christmas weather will abound in your town. It's been years having a real tree, but it was a big deal picking out the right one. Ohhh but the needles! Kathleen in Az

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    1. Looks like the forecast is saying 76 on Christmas! Ugh! This is awful. Just awful!!!

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  4. Darn it!! I was so hopeful my internet tree solution would save yours. At least the tale of your woes has given me a giggle! Now I am just kind of hoping we can get you to post a picture of your decorated tumbleweed.

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    1. Kelly, you are so sweet to try to save my tree. We can be like the doctors on tv......"We did all we could do to save her." It sure smells good though.....even dead.

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