O Christmas Tree! One Family’s Quest for the Perfect Tree

O Christmas Tree! One Family’s Quest for the Perfect Tree

We are gearing up for Christmas in our house. I campaigned hard for a real tree this year because in my dream world, it seemed like a perfect idea. Be careful what you wish for.

The Dream: My perfect world included us all dressed in Christmas sweaters, singing carols as we made our way to the Christmas tree farm. We would hike and hold hands. Then we would find the perfect tree… and we would know this because there would be angels hovering above it.

A photographer would hop out from behind a tree and beg us to let him take our picture for his upcoming, “Families That Love Each Other” coffee-table book.

My husband would cut the tree down in one fell swoop and tie it to the truck with minimal effort. Once home, we would get it in the house and decorate it while drinking hot cocoa by the warm and roaring fire.

Well, it didn’t quite happen that way.

The Reality: We did make it to a Christmas tree farm and that’s where the similarities ended. Here’s how it
did happen.

Yes, you have to wear a coat – it is winter.

Get in the truck.

Ok, I know it TECHNICALLY is not winter, Joe Calendar, but you still need to wear a coat.

Get in the truck.

How can we not have ONE right-handed glove in this entire house?


I told you to go to the bathroom before we left.

No, I did not pack snacks. We are going to be gone two hours. We do not need to pack snacks for every event.

How can you NOT know where we are going? If you would take your earbuds out of your ears for more than four consecutive seconds, you would be able to hear full conversations.

Ok, we are here. Act normal.

What did I just say? Get out of that tree.

No, I do not know the difference between a Douglas fir and a blue spruce.

This is not boring; this is FESTIVE!

Yes, I know real Christmas trees are expensive.

That tree is 15 feet tall. We cannot get it in our house.

No, we are not cutting it in half.

No, I do not know the difference between a hemlock and a white pine.

No, there will not be any squirrels in our Christmas tree.

Stop writing, “help me” in the snow.

Phone down, eyes up!

These are REAL trees; they will not be perfect.

Get away from the saw!

I know you are cold but let me refresh your memory… who told you to WEAR A COAT?

Stop trying to tie your sister up with the rope.

No, we can’t make syrup from our tree.

Well, I guess we can have pancakes for dinner anyway.

Yes, I know what we could have done with that money we just spent. You don’t have to list them.

Stop picking. It is all funny now, but in 3 seconds, it will
turn ugly.

Why is it that when we have a Christmas tree tied to our roof, you go 80 mph, but when we are late for a ball game, you go 12 mph?

I TOLD YOU! Laughing leads to crying every time!

YES, we are almost home. Eyes up, phone down!

If you say you don’t need help moving the tree, please stop cursing so loudly.

Please just light a fire – we have to try to salvage this “brilliant” idea of mine.

Everyone pick a Christmas song.

Holy smoke – when was the last time we cleaned out the fireplace? Is the house on fire?

No, Uptown Funk is not a Christmas song.

Just ram the tree in the stand.

Move it left… no MY left.

All About the Bass is not a Christmas song either.

Right… no, not right as in correct, right as in direction.

I can’t see anything. The smoke is burning my eyes out.

Whatever. Just leave it where it is. It is standing, isn’t it? I can’t see. I didn’t hear it fall over though.

I know you are cold. We had to open all the windows to get the smoke out. It will clear in a day or two.

Whew. I can see! Wasn’t that fun? Kids, wasn’t that fun? Paul? Anyone? How fun was that? Where did everyone go?

And I stood in my cold, smoke-filled living room alone with our dog, who was suspiciously interested in the tree. I was feeling sorry for myself. Why can’t we do anything NORMAL in our family?

But one-by-one, they all came back. Granted, he did have his headphones on and she was dancing to Watch Me Whip and my husband had a glass of something big and brown that was not hot cocoa, but they came back to check out our tree. I guess that is our normal. The Misfits. My Misfits. I’ll take them any day.

Merry Christmas everyone, from my family to yours.

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