Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Christmas Trees
Jennifer Flaten

For the past week, we’ve had our Christmas trees up. Yes, I said trees. We have two. Well, actually we have five Christmas trees. Why five trees, well why not.

It all started the year we finally decided to replace our worn out artificial tree. We had it for over 10 years. I never thought I would be an artificial tree person, but then I spent one holiday season with three ferrets, two cats and a live tree.

The animals were constantly climbing in the tree, sucking up all the tree water and generally causing mischief. After I spend an entire day scrubbing sap off a ferret, I decided to ditch the live tree.

The next year we switched to an artificial tree the year the girls were born that year, too. With two four month olds, I was lucky to get the tree out of the box. Thank goodness, they come pre-strung with lights. I hung a few candy canes on the tree and voila, we were ready for Christmas.

Ten years and five moves later we decided it was time for a new tree, as this one was looking a little threadbare. We hunted for the perfect Christmas tree. What I really mean is a cheap one. It took an entire afternoon, but we found it.

Since, we had a new tree I figured we needed some new ornaments. I decided on a penguin theme and went out a bought bunch of new ornaments. The kids couldn’t wait to take it home and decorate it. It ended up looking quite lovely, even with all the ornaments clustered on the lower branches because the kids were too short to reach the higher branches.

A couple of days later we went to a fundraiser for the Humane Society that included a raffle to win a fully decorated tree. We bought a few tickets and joked how funny it would be to win a tree since we already bought one.

We won two trees. Two fully decorated seven-foot tall trees. I bet you’re wondering if they take the ornaments off the tree before you come get it. I know I was curious. They don’t, they just wrap it in saran wrap to hold everything on the tree.

I had to borrow a truck to get them home. Now, I had three new Christmas trees, plus the old tree. Since the kids love to decorate, I let them set up the old tree outside and decorate it. I didn’t have room for both the new trees so one came inside to our family room and one languished in the garage for the holiday season. 

The next year, we went to that same fundraiser. I figured I’d used up all my luck the year before, so I bought a bunch of tickets. Can you guess what happened? Yep, we won another fully decorated seven-foot tree.

There was no truck available this year to bring it home. I had to cram all seven fully decorated feet into the back of a Toyota Corolla.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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