Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tannenbaum Envy

As with most vertically erect objects, bigger is better.

Christmas trees are no exception.

Even when I attempt to exercise moderation, I frequently end up with a much larger tree than I anticipated. Fortunately, the vaulted ceiling in my living room tends to accommodate such errors.

As the Yuletide festivities are approaching, the G and T family made its annual trek to the tree farm today, to slaughter yet another holiday evergreen.

The girl, who will be 4 in a few weeks, took great pains to inform us about the differences between deciduous trees and evergreens. Though, she was momentarily at a loss to point out a deciduous species in the middle of the Christmas tree field...

The boy seemed confused by all of the trees, but enjoyed stomping in the mud.

The selection process was meticulous, yet tedious. As the hunt went on, we realized that we were essentially looking for a tree with all of its branches up high, with nothing close to the ground, because we know our little Mr. Grabby-Hands will be unable to resist the temptation.

And of course, unless we nailed the tree upside down to the ceiling, the tree we needed did not exist.

That is when we realized, this year, we're just going to put a small tree up on a table, out of reach. We put the girl to the task, and she quickly scoped out a petite Noble Fir, just slightly taller than her.

I mean, it's barely a tree. It fit in my trunk. It's more of an allusion to a tree. A metaphor. A perfectly proportioned midget.

The saw that I brought with me sliced through the trunk without effort. I could have cut it down with garden loppers.

We hiked back through the festive forest, Christmas shrub in hand. As we approached the parking lot, we spied a giant (ungodly) Black SUV parked ridiculously close to my little family wagon. Atop the SUV was an obscenely enormous Doug Fir, 10, maybe 12, feet long with a 6 foot base diameter. Two adults attempted to wrangle their kill down with yards and yards of twine.

I felt them looking at me with my tiny tree. I hoped to hell they did not pity me. I mean, I could have had a bigger one. I could have cut down and carried a bigger one. I could afford a bigger one. I could have even crammed their monster through my door and raised it under my own roof.

But there was no chance to explain the necessity.

We will decorate the tree tomorrow. I will festoon the limbs with line after line of lights. The Missus and the girl will gleefully garnish it with sentimental family trinkets and baubles.

In the end, we will have the finest tiniest miniature holiday sapling ever.

Because, as everyone knows, it's not the size of your tree, it's what you do with it.


  1. Girth is important too. Nice and thick so it doesn't droop or sag...

    Is it nice and full and chunky?

  2. Trees are very much a phallic symbol but you go ahead and put it up on a table to make it look taller.

  3. I should have read this before putting up our tree. The boy in my house will be 2 in just a few weeks and he love the tree. The lights and baubles fascinate him. We took careful care to put the breakables up high, but he just can't seem to resist no matter how many times I've said "They're just to look at, no touching." Ahh well, maybe next year.


Be compelling.

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