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.


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