Tuesday, January 13, 2009

R.I.P., O Christmas Tree

Question: What looks even trashier than having all of your Christmas decorations still up in the middle of January?

Answer: Having 1/2 of your Christmas decorations still up in the middle of January.

I was in the middle of de-Christmasing my house on Saturday, when I got distracted. That tends to happen when you have 3 kids aged 3 and under who are currently in the middle of a "Mine! Mine! Mine!" stage.

But, I did get the Christmas tree taken down. Although, I think I might have psychologically scarred Ashley in the process.

But wait, let's start with a little background, shall we?

When I was growing up, one of the biggest events of the Christmas season was heading out as a family to pick out our Christmas tree. I have many fond memories of wandering around the Christmas tree lot to pick out a tree, watching the Christmas tree man hoist the tree up onto the top of the family station wagon and strapping it on with those fun stretchy cord thingies, drinking hot chocolate, the smell of the Christmas tree in the house, constant watering to keep the thing alive, etc. etc. We always had a live Christmas tree growing up, and I didn't know there was any other way to do it.

Until I met Scott.

Scott does not approve of live Christmas trees for a number of reasons, including but not limited to the following: (i) live trees are a fire hazard (Scott is very fire safety conscious); (ii) live trees are messy and leave pine needles everywhere (Scott knows that I don't like to vacuum); and (iii) Scott is a Christmas grinch (well, about the tree issue, at least). So ever since Scott and I moved in together, we've had an artifical tree. I don't like it, but I do like Scott, so I've learned to live with it.

One year when I was extra complainy about it, Scott bought me a can of pine tree air freshener to spray on it. It just wasn't the same.

But anyway, now I'm used to it. So I thought nothing of it this Saturday morning when I pulled a chair into our living room, climbed up and started disassembling it by throwing the various branches on the floor.

Until I heard Ashley shriek "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"

I looked over my shoulder, assuming one of the twins had stolen back a toy that she'd probably just stolen from them, and said, "What is going on?"

And Ashley started bawling.

"Not my tree! No mommy, not my tree!"

Since I was confused and short on time (and apparently a little heartless), I kept on stripping down the tree. Ashley continued to freak.

"Ashley, what is the deal? I'm just taking the tree down!"

"NO, MOMMY!!! I love my tree!! Don't hurt my tree!"

I then realized that I was basically dismembering the tree in front of her. Ripping off one branch here, plucking another one out over there, decapitating the top section, scalping off the side, until all that was left was a skinny pole with a few wayward branches jutting out from it. And since I'm kind of a weakling, I had to put a lot of effort into the dismembering so I have a feeling it looked quite violent in retrospect.

Apparently, it was quite a traumatic sight for a three year old.

When it was all said and done, Ashley plopped herself down on the floor in the middle of the tree remnants to mourn its passing. I'm adding this to my list of things that are wrong about artificial trees...apparently, they can cause severe childhood trauma.

Although then again, if I'd waited until mid-January to get rid of a live tree, I might have had a difficult time explaining to Ashley why it had changed colors from green to brown. And explaining to Scott why I hadn't vacuumed up those pine needles yet.