Getting lit on our end of the block doesn’t involve a drink, although we could certainly use one afterwards. Had Thomas Edison been our neighbor, you’d still be lighting candles right now. I think it’s something in the air.
Our neighbors on the other side–Beauregard and Boo–have always had tall, lovely, aromatic NC Frasier Firs until this year. After years of cajoling, she’d finally convinced Beau to try an artificial tree and she’d hit the after-Christmas sales and found a real beauty: a large, very deluxe, artificial tree for Christmas 2013. She was understandably nervous when they finally took it out of its box last week.
The assembly didn’t go smoothly. Boo encouraged Beau to read the instructions, but he declared that he didn’t have time to do that. Instead, he began shoving the parts together, figuring he could build a tree, whether it was the one on the front of the box or not. It was definitely more “NOT.”
When the branches became a tangle of twisted wires, Beau began ripping the lights off the branches, even though they were carefully wired in place and even camouflaged with a pipe-cleaner-like material covering every wire. (It was a VERY deluxe tree!)
Seeing the lights and the camouflage material being yanked was enough to make Boo panic. She called the store where she’d purchased the tree. They told her to bring it in and they’d have one of their technicians put it together properly.
Again, things didn’t go smoothly. Now that the eight-foot genie was out of the box and lying in crazy-quilt fashion all over the den floor, there was no way they could get it into their car. They called a friend for help. She rushed over in her van and they loaded it up with all the tree it could hold: about 2/3 of it. The top part had to ride in the car with Beau and Boo.
When they arrived at the store, it took all three of them to get it inside. I can imagine the scene, the three walking parade style, carrying the pieces still tethered together by wires, some of them dangling. The tree technician took it back to Critical Care and told them it would take some time.
The technician was able to work his miracle and the wounded tree is in full glory now, standing proudly in their den, lights glowing. Boo added a small stick with balsam fir scent to make it seem even more authentic.
Dearly Beloved hooted at their tree story. He wanted to know why Beau hadn’t called HIM for help, since tales of DB’s…um… expertise in matters of electrical wiring are circulating through the neighborhood.
After they left, I went back to assembling our own pre-lit tree and DB went back to carrying wheelbarrows of leaf mulch around back to the azalea beds.
Our little tree is several years old. We’ve always set it up in the bay window of the sunroom and the direct southern sun has taken its toll. Instead of the original deep green, the tree has faded to a sickly greyish-blue. (My friend Beanie suggested I think of it now as a blue spruce.) Blue or green, it has always been easy to assemble and I’ve assembled it so many times, I went ahead and decorated it without bothering to test the lights. Oops.
I plugged it in, but only a small belt of lights around the middle of the tree came alive. GOOD GRIEF, did we have an epidemic in the neighborhood???
When DB came inside and saw the sorry sight, he immediately reached in among the branches to fix it, not even pausing to remove his jacket. He appeared oblivious to the ornaments bouncing off the tree as he worked. As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes The Jackass takes over in these situations and for a while there, I was understandably nervous.
Several broken ornaments later, the tree was in one piece and lit from top to bottom. Applause! Applause!! Applause!!! My man!
Notice the Christmas tree skirt in the picture above. It’s an inheritance from a relative who never met a sequin she didn’t like. She made them all by hand. Consequently, I have three tree skirts, plus a large, round tablecloth that looks much like an enlarged tree skirt. Ghosts of Christmases past. They’ve been stashed in the attic for ages, but this year I decided to bring out my heritage in all its sequined…um… glory. We may be light-deficient, but danged if we don’t still sparkle.
Maybe that contributes to the tree looking more anemic than ever this year. It’s also wonky; the treetop angel keeps leaning left. I wonder if Santa ever puts a tree under the tree?
I’ve a mind to hit those after-Christmas artificial tree sales myself. I’m thinking that I’d better start at the store which has a tree technician.
Just in case, mind you.