Oh! Christmas Tree
by Win Gouzecky, November 23, 2020
After Rick passed away in 2015, I decided to get rid of our Christmas tree. It was beautiful, but it was large and difficult to assemble and it made me sad. During last year’s Christmas season, I was once again desiring a tree, so after Christmas, I went out and bought one. The store was having a final Christmas clearance sale of 90% off, so I bought a pre-lit, skinny (...you would have thought that for the original price of $350, they could have at least fed the thing), seven-foot tall, short needle evergreen tree with stand. A store employee got it into my van, and then Barry Busch came over and carried it down to my basement for me, where it would await its grand revealing in 2020!
So, as it is now nearing the time of the year when one begins decorating to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I went down to the basement to get out my Christmas ornaments, etc., and there was my new tree, snuggly nestled in a two foot by three-foot (or so) factory sealed box. Getting that box with its contents upstairs is a whole other story!
The unopened box sat in my living room for a couple days until I had the nerve to actually open it. You see, by that time I had realized that — oh no! — with the tree being seven feet tall and the box only three feet long, assembly was going to be required! I thought to myself, “W.W.R.D.? What Would Rick Do?!” So, I cut open the box and immediately tossed out the instructions!
Turns out that I was correct in my assumption. The tree was in pieces. Each of the three tree sections was tied with cords, tape, plastic, and bubble wrap! Even the twelve Apostles couldn’t have delivered and set those branches free without scissors! I will NEVER get those parts back into the box to store them for next year!
Next, the very important “floofing” of the branches. But I then discovered that as well as the many other wrappings I’d found the branches wrapped in, there were a multitude of twist tie thingies! After taking off a few of them, I realized that the twist tie thingies were not there to hold the branches in further bondage, but to hold the lights onto the tree! Oh no! Okay, so I can place the tree (now that, after my patch job, one side looks like a grade two science project of the “unknown constellation”), so that the patched-up part faces an unseen corner. I am happy to report that all three portions of the tree then received their full “floofing” and were placed across various pieces of living room furniture.
The assembling of the tree was as follows: Being a person somewhat accustomed to nature, I assumed that the three pieces of tree should come together to resemble a skinny, tall pyramid shape, the widest portion going to the bottom. The picture on the box also confirmed this. I picked up the fully floofed bottom piece and immediately put it back down feeling elated by my flash of brilliance! The tree stand should be attached first! At this point, I learned two things: the tree stand is “spring loaded” (Ouch!!!!!!!), and the tree didn’t fit the tree stand. I think that this was the point when I mentioned to Jesus that it would be a very good time to resurrect Rick, but I immediately thought of the verse, “by this time he stinketh!” Anyhow, back to the tree. Apparently, the tree did not fit the tree stand because the manufacturers had seen fit to place a protective cap over the end of the tree that had to first be removed. Tree stand attached: check. Now to add the middle portion of the tree. It didn’t fit either, but now I knew their tricks! Then I took the protective cap off the top piece and realized that I could never reach high enough to attach it. Catapulting it was unreasonable, as was jumping and hoping for the best, so I tipped the two-thirds of the tree over and while holding it in a headlock, tried to attach the remaining section. That was when Purrl, my Siamese cat, attacked.
Update: The tree now stands in my living room, fully assembled (there were only four parts left over!), floofed, and decorated, and I am resting in heavenly peace, and hoping that it stays that way.
Disclaimer: Some of this story is based on actual facts.
Merry Christmas Tree to all, and to all a good night!