Fake Trees and Sap
By a vote of 1-1, we elected to get a fake Christmas tree this year, the wife's one vote trumping my one vote. Tradition, smell, the joy of living things, I argued. Mess, cost, the two hours spent straightening with the faulty tree stand, she countered. As usual, we went her way.
A few weeks back, I set about erecting this abomination. In further insult, it's actually self-lit. I set about plugging this into that, shoving shafts, fluffing branches that hung on hinges. It wasn't hard, but I was still sour. Who puts a tree together?
This time of year can be frantic, the pressing crush of the local mall, the rickety ladder foiling attempts at linear light-hanging, the pressures of time and family and planning. It obscures the reason, stresses the motions instead of the motive.
So there I was, my knees pressed inconveniently to the hardwood floor, grumbling about the artificiality of it all. I clicked the doohickey, bringing the tree to its representation of life, when AJ, who had quietly come to stand behind me, draped his arms over my shoulders.
"Thank you, Daddy," he said unexpectedly, in a voice that could end the world's pain and suffering.
"You're welcome, buddy," I replied, turning to accept his full embrace.
"The tree looks great."
"Yeah," I sighed. "It sure does."
Merry Christmas, everybody.