Before kids, my husband would completely indulge my Christmas decorating extravagance. While I understand there is a fine line between festive and “someone put this lady on Honey Boo Boo,” I struggle with which side of that line I fall on each year. When we were dating, Aaron thought my need to use All. The. Decorations. was cute and charming. In those early days, he was willing to dangle from the roof to hang twinkle lights for me. He’d buy those extra yards of tinsel because I batted my eyes and said I loved it so. He’d laugh and find somewhere else to store yet another set of Christmas dishes. And that sweet man even let me put up a hot pink tree in his house. Now that, my friends, is love. When my son and daughter arrived on the scene, my obsession for all things twinkly and bright on Christmas hit an all-time high.
The tree needed to be bigger!
More lights on the house!
More presents for everyone!
We need more tinsel!
But with kids comes crap. All kinds of crap. Crap in the literal sense, and crap in the way of your house slowly morphing into Toys R’ U. With this newly acquired crap, my husband’s patience began to wear thin with my love of all things Christmas and my excessive need to show holiday joy through lights, glitter, and tinsel. Ebenezer Scrooge, anyone?
Since marriage is all about compromise (sham), we have instated a new tradition, the “Christmas Bargaining.” Like all good laws, it comes out of necessity and long fought battles.
While searching online for holiday decor I may have missed last season, I read that a local tree farm had a special event where families could choose their Christmas tree from acres of Douglas and Frasier firs, and once your O’ Tannenbaum has been chosen and cut down, a team of Husky dogs will happily pull the tree to your car. Imagine the holiday cheer! Surely the dogs will be wearing wreaths of holly around their necks and bells on their little leather harnesses. Mush, doggies! Let’s get that tree on our swagger wagon. Mamma has some tinsel waiting at home for this one!
However, there was one teesey, tiny detail I left out. We (and by we I mean my husband) would need to cut down our tree. Surely he wouldn’t mind this manly act. It was all for the sake of Christmas. Think of the kids! Think of me! Think of the tinsel! Let’s get to it, chop, chop!
Driving out to the tree farm, the kids and I loudly sang a few rousing renditions of “Jingle Bells” as my always doting husband tolerated his tone deaf carolers. That’s about when his Christmas joy ran thin.
When we unloaded the kids and headed into the rows of trees, we passed a heap of hot, panting fur. It seems the unseasonably warm weather was a bit much for the Husky dogs and they needed a break. A break for the rest of the day.
Through my best adorable pout I broke the news to him, “Bummer. I’m so sad the dogs can’t pull our tree to the car. Oh, by the way, we (and by we, I mean you) have to cut down the tree, drag it several hundred yards back to our car, and attach it to our roof.”
Hilarity did not ensue, and some may say he even turned a shade that resembled the Grinch. He looked at me and grumbled “No. Just no.”
But I had two babies in Christmas sweaters, a video camera, my best Christmas face on, and I was wearing reindeer ears. I mean, who could ever say no to that sweet image?
The teenager working the cash register handed him an ax and a few yards of twine. My man was trapped and the only thing left to do was cut down a dam Christmas tree.
You know, I always imagined tree cutting as a quick process. Turns out, it’s not. It involves a lot of cursing, sap, dirty looks, and near severing of digits. During a few of his breaks from the chopping, I offered some quality time under the mistletoe to make up for his hard work. That offer may have been enticing at first, but even after we all yelled “timber,” his work was not done.
While December in Maryland tends to be quite chilly, that day felt more like spring. And this warmth was ever apparent from the sweat pouring off Aaron’s forehead and he dragged the tree past the other families. “Happy holidays!” I chirped to the other wives we passed, while my husband just mumbled some inaudible groans in solidarity to the other fellows chopping and dragging.
After our escapades in the Christmas tree farm I was banned from ever suggesting such ridiculous ideas when all I was willing to do was sit in the car and feed Goldfish crackers to the kids.
So this year I agreed to get the tree from the place that all you do is point and pay and they do the rest, and my husband agreed to a giant inflatable Santa for our front yard. Compromise
Peace has been restored in the universe and the Christmas season. Now if only I could get him to agree to an inflatable Rudolph.
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
We cut down our own tree this year, too, and I hated it once I got it home. It looked so much bigger and fuller at the tree farm.
Betsy Segars says
This is my favorite time of the year. I love decorating my house and making it feel so warm and cozy. This year my husband and I decided to scale back on the christmas decorations and chill more instead of stressing over the little things.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
So wait… You got the Santa but not the Rudolph? Santa NEEDS Rudolph! Rudolph is point man.
We always get a real Christmas tree. It can be a struggle to get it cut down and hauled to the car.
Lisa Joy Thompson says
I love the idea of a real tree, but since we travel every year at Christmas, it’s not super practical! We ended up going with a pre-lit tree. And my husband has never indulged my desire for a zillion twinkle lights so this year we ended up with a Star Shower (which is totally ghetto…but which the kids love). Glad you worked out your differences! 🙂
Seattle Travel Blogger says
Thanks for sharing; this is a cute story.
Family time is most important during the holidays…and there are many inflatable options these days.
Don’t forget the abominable snowman! 🙂
Liz Mays says
Yeah, that chopping sounds pretty rigorous. I’m glad you took it down a notch this year. (So far)
Ann Bacciaglia says
I have not had a real Christmas tree for years. It was always fun to go and pick out the tree we wanted. I never had to cut it down ourselves. Maybe this year i will get a real tree again.
I haven’t had a real Christmas tree since I was super young and only at my dads. I have always had fake ones since. I would love to get a real one!
Kim Croisant says
We too bought a giant inflatable Santa for the front yard….and a Reindeer. Your story was funny…made me laugh. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Chrystal | Nevermore Lane says
We had real trees every so often when I was younger but my mother got tired of dealing with them. I tried getting one when I was older but it make me break out in hives so I’ve used fake since.
Diana Elizabeth says
It’s hard with everything going on during the holidays to be in the Christmas spirit – people everywhere! Things to do – overwhelming! Kudos to you to find a way to make it through!
Going to the tree farm and picking our tree is my favorite part of the season. My two year old exclaimed this year “The trees are my favorite! They are SO CUTE and cuddly!”. We’ll see what happens when he tries to cuddle up to it! Such a fun story. Thanks for sharing.
Kelly Hutchinson says
I did the artificial tree for years. When I met my husband, he was shocked! Ever since we have been doing the live tree. Sadly, we had all of our decorations stolen a few years ago. We have been trying to replenish ever since.
I wish we were able to have a real Christmas tree however I have allergies. Fake is pretty too though!
It must have been the reindeer ears you were wearing that clinched it, lolol I do think it’d be hard to cut down a tree. 😉
I am sad to say that it’s 12/13 and I don’t have a tree yet. With kids comes more craziness…and falling behind!
This is such a cute and REAL story! This year we bought a new tree…but a fake one that looks real…we had our own mishap. The box was too big for the car so we had to drive with the door open!!!