2000-12-04
Dear Diary:

Paul mentioned Friday that this year's Christmas tree is in our woodshed, so I went out to take a look.

We live in the Eastern Townships of Quebec which has hundreds of acres of Christmas tree farms now. One of my chat friends down in Arkansas mentioned last year that the gorgeous tree he bought in Little Rock had a tag that said it was grown about 50 miles from where I live. It's a big business.

So I guess what I'm saying here is that there are many beautiful, relatively inexpensive Christmas trees we could buy.

But we don't.

Nosireebob, we sure don't.

And it's not that Paul hasn't grown up with exquisite Christmas trees, because he has. Each year his mother puts up Christmas trees of such perfection and beauty that if Martha Stewart ever saw one of them she would be overcome by envy so immense she would immediately impale herself on a turkey baster. No. Really. She would.

So yep, the trees are there, they're not expensive, and the spousal unit has seen how beautiful they can be.

However, many years ago he decided that we would not have a commercial tree in our home. "Show me where it says in the Bible to kill a tree for Christ," he grumped at the time.

No amount of discussion could change his mind, either. I mean, the commercial trees do their bit for the environment while they're alive, the farmers who grow them replant constantly--heck, the Christmas tree market has added A LOT of forest land to this region.

He didn't care about any of that. No commercial trees for us and that was that.

And so our trees have always been the tops to full grown evergreen trees that already died, usually the top of a tree that blew over in a late fall storm.

Now an evergreen in nature looks nothing like your standard commercial Christmas tree. Your store bought tree is fertilized, given lots of room so it has all the sunlight it needs, and constantly pruned so that it is a tightly packed pyramid of green wonderfulness.

A wild evergreen lives in the dog eat dog world of the forest. It has to struggle for every speck of sunlight and food which means that its branches are widely spaced and sometimes kind of twisty.

Our Christmas trees are of the wild variety and thus, there are two words to describe any Christmas tree we have ever had: butt ugly.

Let's see, sparse branches?  Check.  Twisty trunk?  Check.  General appearance of scrawniness?  Check.  Yep, that would be a Marn and Paul Christmas tree, for sure. Behold this year's tree. Paul's brother, Mike, had to drop some evergreens to open up a view for one of his landscaping clients and knowing about our tradition, he salvaged the top of the most attractive tree. Please note the interesting zig zag at its peak.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a definite contender for Ugliest Christmas Tree I Have Ever Decorated.

But even you know what? I have grown to love this ugly tree tradition, I really have. Jess and I spend the whole time we're decorating each year's tree cracking up, trying to invent creative ways to deal with each tree's flaws. Every time I come upstairs and see the goofiness that is our Christmas tree it makes me grin.

It has become our own little way of marking the season, an unplanned reminder that things don't have to be perfect to be right.

We always wait for Jess before we bring in and decorate the tree, doing it with her has always been part of the deal. She's not sure yet how much time she'll get off for Christmas, so it may be a while before I have pictures of the finished .:cough:. Masterpiece .:cough:.

There will be further bulletins as events progress.

--Marn

Old Drivel - New Drivel


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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -


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2000, 2001, 2002 Marn. This is me, dagnabbit. You be you.