It’s Christmas and that means a tree!
It also means my annual foray into navigating the holiday decor as a single person. Here’s the thing — Christmas trees are awesome, but getting one up properly is one of those things where the default assumption is that you have help. I do not have help.
But I do have alcohol and hubris, and that’s almost the same thing. (Not really.)
So I wandered off to get a Christmas tree. I did start out better than last year, practicing restraint at the tree lot. Last year I had to text a friend once I got home and realized there was no way the tree was coming down off my car, much less getting inside, without at least one other person. This year, I got a smaller tree, around 5 feet, and I was able to get it off the car and into my apartment under my own power.
I then put on a flannel shirt and proceeded to proclaim myself a lumberjack and flex my tiny (but bigger than last year, maybe?) arm muscles.
Then I ran into a problem.
This is my old Christmas tree stand:
It’s a horrible tree stand. So horrible it shouldn’t even be called a stand. It’s nearly impossible to get the tree into it, you can’t see what you’re doing and then once the tree is in, there’s almost no way to get water in there along with it.
But I struggled along anyway, getting the tree in. It fit but there was a slight problem. The tree leaned to one side, but the slightest touch sent it swaying forward and back.
I spent a while deluding myself that this would be fine, especially after I stuck a kettlebell on the back of the stand to weight it down, but there’s only so long one can maintain that level of delusion.
For me, that’s until about 3 am, when I woke up out of a dead sleep and spent the next hour trying to adjust the tree and water it, which mostly resulted with the tree on the floor, me silently panicking, pine needles everywhere, and the cats looking extremely confused.
So I went out the next morning and bought this:
It’s a new tree stand, that is actually an older style and reminds me of the one my parents had when I was growing up. Of course, I again ran into the same problem — apparently stand are meant for trees with impossibly tiny trunks. I considered returning this one to the store and trying to find another, but then decided it was much more expedient to just use my rubber mallet and whack the thing until it fit.
Because I am a very responsible adult that way.
On the upside, the tree is up. It still has a slight lean, which I actually think comes from the tree itself being uneven. So I’m still weighting down one of the back legs with the kettlebell — let’s face it, I’m not going to be working out anytime between now and Epiphany anyway — and I’m hoping the cats don’t get overly inquisitive. But it seems much more stable.
I just have to decorate it. Did I mention that tree lights are another thing that isn’t really designed to be a one-person job?