Tragedy with the Christmas Tree…

Anyone else have trouble with their “live” Christmas tree’s this year ?We did.

It started after we bought this nice seven-foot spruce from the local mega-home-mart store for $45.00 and lugged it home in our suburban chariot.  We joyfully dragged our prize through the house and up to our family bonus room and the process of decorating began.

Artist Rendering of our "Perfect" Tree

Paige (my wife of 20 years) lugged out her huge plastic multi-compartmentalized container with a lifetime of Christmas ornaments, trinkets and keep-sake Holiday decorations carefully stowed inside. So began our annual family decorating party for the Mathias Tree.

Wooohooo, Yippeee and Jingle Bell Rock, break out the hot cocoa and hang the mistletoe!  Caleb played some classic Christmas songs on our system and the girls both pitched in by hanging their favorite tree ornaments as we all joked and kidded and played around. Paige hovering constantly to make sure that just the right ornament made it to just the right place on the tree. Older and more treasured ornaments near the top for safety, and the hand-made and less valuable kids-elementary school creations on the lower branches.

In an hour we had a “beautiful” kinda haphazardly decorated but fragrantly appropriate Christmas tree, complete with multi-colored twinkling lights and a few red-beaded garlands. It looked a bit “rumpled’ with some of the branches refusing to lay down smoothly and others sticking out and up at odd angles, but it was in general the expected and appropriate size and shape of a Christmas tree. We were satisfied. Christmas had come to the Mathias house.

Within the next forty eight hours that stupid tree feel down at least a six times and in a six different directions, once landing on our TV, another time crashing into our bookshelves, another backwards into the corner of the wall… you get the idea. No matter what we did or tried it would NOT stay straight or in a vertical position for more than a few hours before sagging or sliding or simply fading out of its tree stand.

All weekend I worked off and on with my dad and son and wife to realign the tree trunk, re-secure it with the tree stand fixtures, I tried using a 70 lb sand bag from my dad’s truck, three wooden shim’s (wedges) and a block of old cut two-by-four’s to get the dang tree to stay still. By Sunday evening, I was tired of trying…

Last night I came home from work a bit earlier to fix the tree for my wife. Paige had been fighting a cold all weekend and I wanted to show her how much I loved her and have it all fixed when she got home… since this Christmas tree was so special to her, I would work as hard as possible to get our Christmas back to normal!

So Caleb, my dad and I all spent an hour and a half working on it. Realigning, re-tightening the stays, vacuumed the floor for the fourth time. We cleaned up as many of the tree needles and semi-broken ornament pieces off the floor we could. When I was SURE the tree was stable and the room pristine… I wearily sat down to admire our handiwork.

As I paused I could see it WAS much improved. Beautiful in fact. The green tree stood straight and completely vertical, respectable once again. We had re-hung all of the ornaments we could salvage from the previous falls and re-applied the garland and lights, making sure it all worked…the stubborn tree was again upright and elegant (kinda) for all of us to enjoy !

I slowly let my breath out… the Christmas tree problem it seemed was SOLVED.

As I was enjoying the spoils of our efforts and our recent success… it slowly fell straight out and towards me in my chair like someone had hit it with an axe…. I had to jump and dive to keep it from smacking into the floor with enough force to break at least a third of the newly re-applied ornaments and  re-spilling most of the water from its base.


When Paige got home, the tree was erect again. It wasn’t falling, it wasn’t sagging but it was leaning a bit. It was propped up in the corner of our bonus room. Slightly disheveled and decidedly less pristine than when we had started. Paige took a slow look at the tree and then me and decided after looking into my bloodshot eyes… the tree was “just fine” where it was. She mumbled something about tt was after all Christmas that mattered more than the tree… Right?

The real Tree (not really

 Funny story, but true. I like many of us, got so distracted with the traditions of Christmas, that I forgot to remember they are only a symbol of the season, not a personification of it. When my stupid tree wouldn’t cooperate and the cheap tree stand we had didn’t actually hold the tree we had so carefully picked out, it started to destroy the peace and joy and hope of our home.

Silly… don’t you think?
Reminds me… to lighten up a bit this season. If we allow Christmas gifts, family, traditions and social commitments to overwhelm us so much that we loose the ability to actually enjoy and embrace the Hope and message of Christ this season… well that would be a Tragedy.
Oh and i’ll be sure and invest in a decent tree stand next year…. just to be safe.
Love ya 🙂

One thought on “Tragedy with the Christmas Tree…

  1. We had one of them one year..We finally wired it to the window on two sides to keep it standing….Then the Deer Flys came alive in the warn house..To make a long story short. We took the tree back and the man selling them laughed at us. Not Funny??? Merry Christmas..Try a Fake one next year. Love Ya. Juanita.

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