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Christmas Spirit

Putting Up The Old Tree


Sunday Morning

Well, here we are, Sunday morning, five shopping days left. It's a bright, crisp, cool morning and the squirrels are doing their high-wire act on the power lines, much to the consternation of the passerby lady walking her dog, which suddenly starts barking at the sky.

I bought our tree yesterday at the local grocery market, and a nice, graceful thing it is. They cut the tree trunks off at an angle, so you have to buy a stand, and for years I resisted this. Last year I put together my own wooden stand out of scrap 1x6 and the biggest-ass nail you ever saw. I have a big ol' pruning saw that makes short work of off-square trunks, but, you know what, this year I just got tired of scouring the pine sap off my hands.

Gloves, you are wondering, doesn't he have the brains to put on a pair of gloves? We have a pair of Wells-Lamonts out in the garage somewhere. After a year or so, when you have picked a pair of these beauties up, you always have to wonder who on earth managed to wear them to clean out a kennel.

Besides, wearing gloves while working with tools has always struck me as dangerous, like working on high voltage circuits while wearing a grounding strap. In my experience, bare hands are often the first and last warning we are going to get that our flesh is about to be ripped deeply and to shreds. And you would take your watch to a repairman who wears mittens?

So out I went again, to Target, and bought their next-to-last tree stand.

A wonderful thing that stand is, all shiny green plastic, with six turnscrews, "straightens even the most crooked Christmas tree" -- with horrid little L-angles for tightening which cut into your fingers cruelly before they even contact the wood. "Real men just don't wear gloves, Mom".

And this stand has a water reservoir that holds perhaps two cups, "do not overfill past the screw holes or some amount of leakage may occur". I of course am grateful that I was able to find a stand at all this late in the season, even if you have to check and replenish the water supply once or twice a day.

So now the house smells like Christmas Tree, and the master mechanic awaits Bob's return to decorate and hang the ornaments. It's Sunday morning. Let the festivities begin.

© Alex Forbes, December 19, 1999


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