A holiday blog in three parts
from author and speaker Liz Curtis Higgs
“A week ago,” I confessed, picking up an ornament that had survived the cat-astrophe. “Think you can carry it?”
No man in his macho mind would say, “No, it’s too heavy for me.” Bill valiantly grabbed it at the base and pulled. It moved 1/16th of an inch. Another pull yielded almost an inch. Progress.
Bill wiped his brow. “Did one man move this in here?”
“Two men. Big guys.” He was not comforted by this news. “I can help,” I offered, grabbing the trunk midway up. “You take the bottom, and I’ll take the top.”
Which is exactly what happened—I took the top right off the tree.
Never having owned an artificial tree, I didn’t know they came apart. Imagine trying to steer five feet of heavily-decorated Christmas tree into an opening the size of a pencil sharpener. With one hand.
“Help!” I gave Bill room to reach through the prickly branches and grab hold of the trunk. Somehow we managed to get the tree back together. Even the angel looked grateful.
Fifteen minutes later we’d covered all of three feet. I looked up to see two noses pressed against the kitchen window, as our children watched this moving experience.
Down the driveway we went, then across the yard, until we were finally staring at the front door. A new challenge presented itself. The tree was four feet wide with ornaments. The door was three feet wide with hinges.
“We go in backwards,” Bill said decisively.
I winced at the sound of breaking glass and squishing cranberries. “Pull in your tummy!” I shouted to the tree.
A final heave-ho brought it swiftly into our foyer. The kids danced around in excitement, as we surveyed the possible landing spots for our tree. There were boxes in every room but one.
“The kitchen!” we said in unison, starting to regain our Christmas spirit.
Two doorways, both narrower than the first, dislodged a few more ornaments, but soon the tree stood more or less straight in the exact center of the kitchen. I cautioned the kids that under no circumstances was the ceiling fan to be turned on, then we crawled off to bed, while visions of sugar-plums danced in our heads.
At first I was surprised every time I came around the corner and found the tree standing there, quietly taking up half the room. Opening the fridge meant a guaranteed tickling from a teddy bear ornament, and stray tinsel ended up in odd places—our hair, mostly.
Soon we grew accustomed to the green giant in the kitchen, and were amused when friends would walk in and do a double-take.
“What is that?” they’d ask.
“A Christmas tree,” we’d answer. “Don’t you have one?”
(Will the tree go up in smoke when Liz starts cooking? Pop in for Part 3 tomorrow…)