Welcome to the Enchanted Fairy Forest, formerly known as the Family Room. The Abeis Grandis that currently dominates the rather small family gathering place in our home was not exactly planned, but rather the culmination of events that snowballed into the behemoth depicted below.
Event 1: On Sunday, in a complete reversal of my stance in Saturaday's conversation, I state that I think we ought to buy the tree now so that we have a good selection to choose from and can enjoy it for longer; even though it will doubtlessly be a fire hazard by the time we're gathered around it opening presents. Oddly, Jeff thinks this sounds like a good idea.
Event 2: I visit the National Christmas Tree Association online (www.christmastree.org) and decide that I'd like to branch out, and try a Grand Fir or White Fir. This is a bold move for our family as both Jeff and I have only ever had Noble Firs, either real or faux. Jeff is all for it- even my desire to have it flocked with the fake sparkly snow.
Event 3: Jeff announces that he wants a "big tree" this year, instead of the 3 or 4 footer that we usually get. I'm down with it, as long as it clears the 8ft ceilings in The Albatross- Jeff assures me he doesn't want anything taller than he is.
Event 4: We visit a local tree lot that has a nice selection- including several of each variety of tree they sell that have already been pre-flocked. We discover that White Firs are hard to come by, and Grand Firs are huge compared to Nobles; but we remain steadfast in our decision. We then find a pre-flocked Grand that is on the short side, narrow and flocked just the way I like them. In short, it's perfect. It's also $85. Our inner Scrooge comes out, and we decide to check out some other lots. We are stupid, and do not think to ask if they will hold the tree.
Event 5: An hour and 3 more tree lots later, we return to the original lot, and arrive to see the perfect tree being carried out, having been sold 2 minutes prior to our return. Despondant, we scour the towering Grand Firs until we find an acceptable one that's a foot taller than Jeff, and about as thin as we could hope for. We give the flocking directions (medium flock- all over), empty our bank account, and get a claim check to return at 5 for our symbol of holiday joy.
Event 6: Jeff goes to retrieve the tree while Ten and I haul in the bazillion boxes of ornaments and decorations. Then my phone rings, it's Jeff: he has the tree, but it's been flocked wrong. Way wrong- in my most despised style of flocking with nothing but clumps of heavy flock on the tips of the branches. Can it be fixed? No, once it's flocked- it's flocked. Did they give us a refund? Well, they gave us $15 back. It looks fine. Jeff drives through the black hole on Van Buren and we lose the connection on the cell phone.
I'm furious. I call my Mom to vent. "Almost $90 for a piece of wood that will be dead in two weeks and in the throes of death will crap up my carpet with lethal vaccum cleaner clogging schmutz??? It had better be exactly the way I want it, or I want my money back! Or a new tree!"
Jeff gets home, and it's not ok. I tell him that if he won't take it back, I will. My husband is a smart man, and he didn't think that "Shel is spending the holidays in San Quentin after running down and flocking to death a gaggle of X-Mas tree lot workers after they ruined her tree" would look real good in the family Christmas letter, so he decided to take it back himself.
Event 7: The nice tree lot guys have psycho wives too, and they feel his pain. No problem. Pick a tree- any tree- and they will give it to him as a replacement. They had a really nice pre-flocked one that they wanted to give him- but it was on hold (apparently by smart people). Then they tried to get him to take a 12 footer, but Jeff feared that everyone would get cold having to open presents in the front yard since the tree wouldn't fit in the house. He finally selected one, and they checked off the flocking boxes and wrote specific directions in Spanish on the back of the tag. He said it was a really nice tree, and worth more that the original.
He neglected to mention that it was 8 ft tall, and roughly as big around as Jabba the Hut.
Conclusion: This tree's gay green (and white) dress does delight us. It just takes up half the room and scrapes the ceiling. There's 2 ft of room between the chair (not pictured) and the edge of the tree. The pass-through from the kitchen is currently useless. DB Cooper could be sitting on my end table and you'd never know, because you can't see around the tree. I wish we had more money, because there's alot of room for loot under this bad boy, and the few presents we're buying are going to look pretty pathetic.
It does, however, smell fabulous. You open the front door and the smell- TREE- smacks you right upside the olafactory gland. It also has the distinction of being the first tree in our 10 Christmases that can support my Belleek star...and our usual tree topper: the green Intel Pentium II man.
...may your days be merry and bright...and your tree be (correctly) flocked white.