The year—2020– being what it is and all (let’s just skip that part) we decided to put up our Christmas tree.
In recent Christmas seasons our artificial tree remained stored in the garage attic because we said we were usually away visiting people. In truth, to move the tree from storage to the living room was a pain in the patoot.
The tree’s container, a large cardboard box, lay across rafters in the garage attic. After wrestling the box to the top of the attic stairs, Herb would slip a grappling hook into a handhold at the top of the box. Using a long rope, he would lower the box slowly down the stairs while I stood beneath as the brake. We would then lift the box onto a dolly and wheel it down the driveway and across the sidewalk to the front door. Assembly was the easy part—until we had to reverse the process in order to move the tree back to the attic, without the assistance of gravity.
Since there will be no traveling to other homes this year, we are in charge of our own Christmas cheer. Wrestling with our tree actually sounded like fun. A challenge to conquer. We imagined the brightly lit tree, framed in the bay window while we sipped hot cocoa and listened to music.
Down the tree came—grappling hook, dolly, out of the box and assembled.
“Did you know we bought this tree in 2008?” Said Herb as he plugged in the lights. The bottom of the tree sparkled brightly, but the top half was as dark as night. Pitiful.
“Just leave it to me,” said my man. I disappeared. I learned a long time ago not to hang around while our hero attempted an improbable fixit. Two hours later he admitted defeat.
“We could go cut a cedar down,” I said. He gave me the look, You have got to be kidding. “Or we could go to Hobby Lobby and buy a new one. If the parking lot is full, we will just forget it.” Off we went in the SUV. The closer we got to Hobby Lobby, the busier the traffic. You’d think because of the pandemic people would know to stay home. Oh the irony. The store’s parking lot was packed with circling cars, ours included.
So we went home without a tree. What did it matter? Just a Christmas tree. Not important. Sigh. We packed up the broken tree and took it to the street, in the rain.
A week later Amazon delivery brought a big box to our doorstep. In it was a tree just the right size for two old folks to move without a grappling hook, a rope, and a dolly. An angel had decided we should not be alone at Christmas without a brightly lit tree.
The tree sparkles with bright red balls and white lights. Angels carved from wood by Herb in 1992 hang on its branches. It’s the best tree ever!