Last night, as my fiancée was holding up our Christmas tree by the grip of Thor, and I was unscrewing the tree stand bolts and then screwing them back in (as one does), I thought, so much sap. Sap everywhere. I was finally able to get all the sap off of me and now it’s under my nails. Also, Liz, do not let go of the tree!

With everything going on this year, my mind has been filled to the brim with news and information. More than ever, I’ve needed downtime. Traveling this weekend to cut down our Christmas tree gave me that clichéd “escape from reality” (if only for a couple of hours). Decorating the tree definitely provided me a break…

We were setting up our tree on Sunday when I realized that I couldn’t find our big lights. Where did they go? I would have only put them in that one box – you know the box I’m talking about – the box with all the lights. Liz and I looked in all the boxes we carried up from the basement – even though I KNEW I didn’t put those lights in any other box. No big lights were found. I loved those big lights. They resembled the old fashioned bulbs on my childhood Christmas tree. Feeling confused and at a disadvantage – all right, lights, you win! – I kneeled on the floor and said to Liz, “We can’t decorate the tree without the lights going on first. We can’t put the little twinkle lights on until the big lights are on the tree. There is a method to this madness!”

Then I realized what I had done. Last year, while stringing up the tree with the MIA lights, I had burned myself one too many times on the hot bulbs. And after worrying for the entire month that those lights would get terribly hot that they’d start on fire and burn the tree and our house down, I tossed them. I trashed those fire hazard lights after we took down the tree. “Enough worrying about those lights,” I said triumphantly, “I’ll remember next year to buy new, better lights.” Oh, Kinsey from last year, how naïve you were, thinking you’d remember 11 months later.

Luckily, Ace Hardware is 2 minutes away. So I hopped in the car and bought new lights. These lights do not get hot. Our house won’t burn down. Christmas is saved.

After we “straightened” our tree, I kept looking at it from different angles. It looks straight from over here. The bottom looks straight. The trunk is straight – I can see it! But the top of the tree doesn’t look straight. The angel is tipped back. What is happening?! The tree is going to tip over and kill our cats in the process. The tree will fall on our TV. The tree will come crashing down and start on fire…somehow, and I’ll come home to house gone up in flames.

I had to stop thinking about it. I made an unfulfilling peanut butter and jelly sandwich (we need to buy groceries), and I found a streaming link to the Packers game and settled in with my laptop for 3 hours of Monday Night Football. But did I stop thinking about it? Not right away. Though, soon enough, I was distracted by the Packers’ terrible defense. I emailed back and forth with my mom about gift ideas. I researched some topics and had 8 tabs open, thus freezing my laptop and losing my game stream. Found a new one, thank goodness. Green Bay was finally headed toward a Win.

I watered the tree before going to bed. It’s not tipping over. Our tree is just a little crooked at the top, and it gives the illusion that the tree isn’t straight, which is fine – fits in with our “not straight” life.

It was tipping though, before, it definitely was tilted back. We fixed it. Everything is fine. This is Christmas.

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