To Tree, Or Not To Tree

It happened. I have officially transitioned from “Chicago newbie” to a veteran of the city. This revelation has slowly occurred to me this week as I’ve made my holiday party rounds. It used to be a game of meeting people and learning about them. Now it’s a fest of “Remember that one year when so and so did whatever?”

Furthermore, the people at these parties have had several life transitions since I met them a few years ago. New jobs, weddings, babies.

In short, people have become old friends.

But, I digress. The point is that last night I went to the annual Christmas bash of a client/friend of mine, where I was surrounded by such a group of folks. And in our comfortable conversation, we started talking about decorating Christmas trees.

First you should know that L’s condo was completely decked out. 9-ft tree, garlands with bows and lights on every window, overflowing drinks and food — you get the picture.

So our conversation circle of three started examining the ornaments on the tree, and it was clear that the tree was telling a story about L and her husband — Chicago ornaments, airplane ornaments, and other ornaments that were completely about their lives.

This led into a conversation about philosophies on decorating trees. The guy in the group said he’s the one in charge (his partner isn’t interested in helping), and his tree is “Target all the way”. He gets packages of decorations and Voila! It’s done. Nevertheless, they wouldn’t ever go without a tree. And they had ventured to the Dollar store for the first time ever yesterday in search of cheap wrapping paper for his nieces’/nephews’ packages.

The gal said she gets much personal satisfaction out of making pretty packages, so she always finds beautiful burgundy/green/gold paper and bows to match her tree and ornaments.  Knowing her, I’m certain it’s a picture of perfection.

Then they asked me about my tree. I said I don’t (and won’t) have a tree. And that our family doesn’t do gifts — we’d rather spend our efforts talking about farming over coffee.

They hyperventilated.

“WHAT??????????????????????” they said.

At my core, I am lazy. Putting up a tree, while quite nice to look at, is (1) a lot of work now, and (2) a lot of work later. I’m sure I’d come home one day to find one of my cats tangled in it. Furthermore, no one ever comes to my house, and I’m going to be gone for a week anyway. So the effort isn’t worth the return.

[15 minutes later…]

OK, I have officially guilted myself into abandoning my Scrooge-like ways. I just spent 10 minutes scouring my closets for the Christmas tree I got 10 years ago at Wal-Mart. Finally I found it smashed in the bottom of my wicker-basket-trunk-coffee-table.  After a couple minutes of dusting and rearranging the branches, I now have my tree on my dining room table, next to my sewing machine.


And what should also appear? But a stuffed singing reindeer! (Well, technically it’s a moose. Details, details.) Now he’s sitting watch over me on top of my TV.


So, with these photos as evidence of an changed woman, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good  night.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mark said,

    Glad to see you found your tree and reindeer. I had fun last night– it was great catching up with you!

  2. 2

    Ann said,

    Ok, You know I always like real trees and this year after putting up my mothers fake tree I thought I am getting myself one. Of course I love the real trees. I love the process of searching for the tree in the pasture and my eyes are always bigger than my ceiling. So, in the sprit of fake trees, I purchased a white tree. And yes it looks fake. It is 7.5 feet talll with 600 lights white and I added 300 purple. You know why purple, for those of you who dont it is our university colors that would be Kansas State University, home Wildccats! Anyway, it is beautiful. I cannot wait for you to see it.

  3. 3

    Beth said,

    Nelly-If you are home, please stop by my Open House Saturday night. There will be no luminary display this year because of the ice storm, but I am still having the party!! Merry Christmas!!

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