Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just One Strand for Charlie Brown

   This year Handsome and I decided to follow a yearning we've both had for years, that is to find and decorate a skimpy, humble, happy little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. 

   In years past we both I always buckled to the pressure of big and bold, doubtlessly playing silent games of comparison for the girls' comfort and approval.  This is one of the hidden, if slightly treacherous, blessings of having accepted our circumstances for now: We are learning how to feather our nest for ourselves now and then.

Brief Side Note: Can a thing be slightly treacherous? 
Isn't it either treacherous or not? 
Are there in fact varying degrees of treacherousness? 
I don't think so. 
But there are varying extremes of grief. 
And there are many shades of gray in matters of
dealing with grief. 
We're getting stronger, FYI.

   Soooo... early one recent evening we found our boots and jackets and took a chilly but romantic walk through the Pine Forest next door. We found about a dozen worthy tannenbaum candidates, including some table top babies and more than a few Griswald-style giants. You know what I mean. The kind that inevitably houses rabid squirrels and such. The kind that looks like an appropriate size in the context of a FOREST but is sorta not appropriate in anybody's living room.

   Our voluptuous momma cat Fast Woman accompanied us on the trek. She was fascinated by our path and scratched trees left and right to encourage the search. Two of the horses heard our noises and, possibly thinking we were Sasquatch, came galloping and screaming up to the forest edge. Daphne especially was steaming and panting. What the heck was actually going through her equine mind? I'd love to know.

   After about half an hour we settled on a tree close to seven feet tall, once trimmed, but certainly on the lean side of life. If our tree was bacon it wouldn't be bacon; it would be Sizzle-Lean. It would tell other bacon trees to move over, cause now there's something leaner.

   The trunk is skinny enough for us to wedge into an Ozarka water bottle which I found by chance in the barn. The Ozarka bottle also seems to be the perfect hydration system. And with a few household screws twisted into the base, our tree stands nice and straight. We pretty much feel like geniuses around here. Behold our egos.

   In years past, with our bigger, thicker trees, the Christmas light loading took a while. It required some serious unraveling and a dab of  yoga prowess. It was a job.

   Not so this year.

   We still chose to make the lighting a ceremonious event by making sure we were both there, turning off all the other lights in the room, and generally being in the right spirit. We even watched the Charlie Brown Christmas special. But I think it took about three minutes. No, make that two. 

   We used exactly one strand of white lights, and our tree is simply glorious. 

Glorious to us, you guys.
Glorious to us.

   I know everybody usually shares photos of their trees in fully decorated pomp and circumstance, but we're feeling very peaceful and slow paced around the farm right now. Really soaking up the moments and trying to enjoy the truest joys of the season.

   I might decorate it tomorrow, now that our lights are up. Handsome also traced the front of our house with white lights, which pleases my soul. 

Life is good. 
Christmas is Merry.
I Love Our Tree.


  1. Just thought I'd check out my new Bloggie and here you are little cute tree and all. I love it!!

  2. Love the one-strand decoration. It might become a trend. The only thing that I don't like, and this is just me, is that the tree was chopped off, I am guessing... you don't specify but I am assuming that since you went looking for it almost in your back yard. Maybe I misunderstood, but for me it is a sadness.

    Irrespective of that, I do respect your choices, and I hope the tree brings you multitudes of joy for the rest of the month.


  3. Cute - did you wrap the base with a blanket like they do on Charlie Brown? In my own silent homage to that childhood memory, I always wrap the base of my tree with a bed sheet.

    Don't worry about your grief - it will ease in time. Just count the days you are with your girls as extra blessings and create new traditions. One of the things I did was get a Christmas movie that my family hadn't seen and started showing it every year and not doing the same old Christmas dinner of turkey, but switching it up - we always have Crown Roast of Pork now. It's "our things" that make it better.

  4. Please say there's a blanket at the bottom of that tree!!!!

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  6. Nadya, Handsome here..(Her words not mine) we actually chose the tree because it needed to be removed from our forest for the health of the other trees. We have hundreds of babies that are starting to choke out our glorious old growth. We too love nature and want to do everything to preserve i, promote it, and maximize it!!

  7. Hi handsome. (You see, I say this and it sounds like a pick up line... anyway) I am glad that it was at least done then with some logic behind it. Thank you for letting me know.
    Have a marvelous Christmas.
    PS - I trust you will compost when all is said and done, or at least something similar... Maybe you could dry the tree out (what type of tree is it? Pine needles make great cupboard fresheners, etc)and spray the branches of the tree, using it for next Christmas... or decorations or something...
    Either way, enjoy!

  8. I LOVE the tree--and the whole concept.

    On a side note, for all of the 24 years we've been together, my husband and I have used "Move over, bacon!" when we need someone to scooch over. So, that commercial gave me a giggle. ;)

  9. This is a fascinating conversation, and one I'm going to boldly and lovingly stick my nose into.

    Nadya, I agree with you. Cutting down live trees for the sake of Christmas stuff often saddens me to the point where I refuse to do it myself. However, in befriending Green Goose and her Handsome, I am learning the necessity of all kinds of things that would have previously injured my little bleeding heart.

    I am currently sitting in Green Goose's living room, watching her add dried flowers as decorations to her Charlie Brown tree.

    In an effort to share what The Lazy W looks like, it is approximately 9 acres in rural Oklahoma. The adjacent property is 10 acres of forest, full of big beautiful pine trees, crape myrtles, Oklahoma redbud, buffalo grass, yucca plants, and several types of invasive, non-native species.

    The person who used to live there was a horticulturalist for Oklahoma State University and so the forest is a beautiful mix of landscape and wild forest. After a tornado and ice storms a few years ago, several of the big trees were lost. Nature taking its course and so forth.

    Cyprus trees are not native to this area, and in fact are invasive species that farmers bring down and burn. The Charlie Brown tree is one that should be taken down for the health of the forest. Having seen the giant compost pile out back, I can attest to the recycling and environmental habits here at The Lazy W by both Green Goose and her Handsome.

    I, however, live on a cul de sac in Austin and do not have access to forest like this, so will not have a live tree.

    I have loved this conversation and truly hope to see more as the blog lives on.

    Big hugs and much love to all.

  10. Thanks M. One often has no idea what goes on in other people's homes, and it is nice to hear that the decorations are natural.
    I have a plastic tree personally. It comes from childhood, and although not very eco friendly, it lasts and to throw it out is of course not very eco friendly either. So I buy less and re-use more and this is one of my reused items. What I do love doing as well is using ribbons to decorate with, as well as making some decorations: Not each year, but often, we make a set of decorations that also nearly last forever.
    It is nice to know that things are considered at the lazy w...

    much love and showers of blessings over the festive season.


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