15 December 2008

A tradition reassessed

I hate to admit it, but it's true. I don't like trimming Christmas trees.

For years and years I've put up a good front, professing a delight in the tree, live or fake, painstakingly administering the lights first, large lights the length of the trunk (illuminating the tree from inside ... thank you Martha Stewart), small lights along the branches to the very tips and back. Large ornaments must always grace the lower branches with smaller ones at the top, the colors balanced, reds not near reds, golds not near golds.

I don't know what happened today, but I simply didn't want even to begin. And, time's awastin'. Fortunately for me, Tal had mercy and we ended up making the tree a joint project, a wonderful first in our household. He took it upon himself to unroll and test the strings of lights, keeping the lights coming as I placed them, not to mention turning the ornament hangers from a large green, mangled-looking blob into individual "cees" of plastic-covered wire. He knew, I guess, how unfortunate a meltdown -- during this jolliest time of the year -- would have been. Were it not for him we likely would have been treeless this Advent/Christmas/Epiphany.

In the end, it's a very pretty tree. I shall enjoy sitting with it in the evenings, turning on the lights before making the coffee in the mornings and I'll likely not want to give it up come January 6th.

And, here at the end of the day we have two trees! My newly realized aversion to tree trimming isn't so new, it seems. Last year I bought a wrought iron tree, which is exceptionally easy to put together, requires no lights (yippee) and holds a limited number of ornaments. We weren't going to put it up, but with several categories of left over ornaments when we finished with the living room tree -- stars, crosses, angels -- we decided to have a tree in the dining room, too.

So, today I pretty much ran the gamut, going from not wanting a tree at all to having two. Photos to follow.

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