Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Extreme Makeover...Christmas Tree Edition

This afternoon, Diane made our annual traditional trek to Home Depot to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. It was nearly 80° outside. Yes, Tucson's cold spell snapped over the weekend. There's something very wrong about picking out a Christmas tree when you're wearing shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops, which I wasn't, but I easily could have. There's also something very wrong about picking out your tree at Home Depot, but for some odd reason we've made it a tradition and we're sticking to it.

Our customer service experience at the Christmas Tree Depot was the polar opposite of last year. Last year we were greeted by an attendant on the lot who immediately showed us the perfect tree. We were in and out of there in about ten minutes. This year we were greeted by no one and spent about 25 minutes picking through the 7-8' nobles. I found a beautiful 9-footer that would have been perfect, but it was $30 more than the 8-footers. Thirty bucks for an extra foot? I don't think so. I pulled about ten trees out for Diane to inspect, and by the second one I wished that I was wearing shorts, t-shirt and flip flops instead of my long sleeved shirt and jeans: I was sweating like a pig. Wait, pigs don't sweat. I was sweating like a hooker in church.

We finally settled on a tree we liked, and I hauled it up to the checkout shed where a man looking eerily familiar to Santa Claus sawed off the end and shoved the tree through one of those net things. He and another guy tossed the tree on top of our van then gave me some string. I guessed I would be tying the tree on myself. So much for customer service.

We got the tree home and into the stand without incident...for a change. Some of the lower branches were going to need trimming, but no big deal. Diane went to pick up the girls from school and I retrieved some clippers from the garage to give the tree a little grooming TLC. The main problem area was a clump of branches on the bottom of the tree. But as soon as I sat down and investigated the clump I realized that I was in deep ca-ca. Several of the lower branches had been broken, presumably when the tree was run through the netting machine. If I cut them off entirely, I'd have a large bare area at the bottom of the tree, on the good side. Crap! Crap! Crap!

After weighing my options, I decided to do a little cosmetic surgery, MacGyver style. I went back out to the garage, grabbed some string, and returned to the tree to jerry-rig the broken branch to another higher branch. It held the branch there perfectly. Disaster averted...for now. Now I just need to keep an eye on it and hope it doesn't dry out too quickly, otherwise I'll be forced to, gulp, amputate. Oh well, better that I cut off one branch and stare at a glaring, ugly bald spot than for the whole house to go up in flames. Perspective is everything.


WilyHacker said...

On the bright side if you lose the lower branches, there's just more room under the tree.

The Undaground said...

Thanks for the surprisingly accurate preview of what my Saturday will be like (except I'll be in 80 degree So. Fla weather). I can't figure out why we go to Home Depot every year either.

the battered ham said...


True, true...but that doesn't necessarily mean more for ME, so it really doesn't matter.


You're very welcome. Good luck on Saturday, and may the firs be with you.