I've been feeling some (self-imposed) pressure to post pictures of my Christmas tree, after Bekah the Christmas tree extremist and Christina the normal person with only one tree posted pictures of theirs. The problem is that I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum as Bekah.
I didn't get a real Christmas tree this year, since I have a table-top fake tree with bendable wire branches and pre-loaded white lights. But I wasn't sure if the tree was in the black-widow-infested shed or in the storage unit, and I was too busy (or too intimidated by the prospect of black widows) to go looking for it.
I started my shoe store job this past Sunday, at which time I discovered that if you're on your feet all day for hours at a time with only a 45-minute break for lunch, your feet end the day feeling as though they've been pounded on the bottom with boards. It makes you want to sit and put your feet up, not venture outside to face vermin while you're armed only with a broom.
My job itself is fun (if I'm not thinking about my feet). It's the kind of work that someone with OCD tendencies can excel at, and I've confirmed that I have a mild case of it. When I'm not helping customers find shoes or telling them about our sale, my task is to straighten out the shoes. They're displayed in boxes. The left shoe needs to be turned with the sole against the left side of the box, and the right shoe should ideally be on the right with the top of the shoe showing (if it fits that way) and the toe pointed toward the floor. That way, the customer can easily see what the shoe looks like.
But customers take the shoes out of the boxes to look at them or try them on, and when they (hopefully) put them back, they don't do it the right way. That's OK, though, because I've been reminded of my late mother-in-law's philosophy of Christmas gift giving: She had fun shopping for us, and then we could take the receipt to the store and get what we really liked. Everybody would win that way. So at the store, the customers get to shop to their heart's content, and then I'll straighten up the boxes when they've finished. It's all good.
Until I finish my shift and don't know how I can make my feet walk me out to my car. They do, but as I mentioned, there's nothing left for finding the tree.
There was one year, when the kids were in their early teens, when I waited just a day too long to buy a real tree. The trees had been in the lot one day, and then they were gone when I showed up to buy one. So I took the fake ficus tree (made with real wood trunks) downstairs, and we hung ornaments on it and put the presents around it.
Another year, when it was their dad's turn to have them for Christmas, I didn't even buy a tree. When they came back to my house and we exchanged gifts, I draped a tablecloth over the foos-ball table in the dining room, and we put the presents on the floor in front of it.
So my kids don't really expect much from me, and this year they weren't disappointed. This was our Christmas tree:
The blue pot in the middle, with the red bow on it, is a real tree. It's just not very big. Its (his) name is Sammy Seed-sa, and he's our avocado seed that sprouted. He had a central stem and root, but I broke the end of the root off one time when I was giving him fresh water, and the tip of the stem withered. Then some of the other nubs in the core of the seed sprouted upward, while the root got about a dozen new shoots, and when he seemed strong enough with four burgeoning "trunks," my daughter planted Sammy in a new pot.
You can't get much less of a Christmas tree than this without dispensing of the whole tree idea entirely. But we liked our festive Sammy just the same.
After our ham dinner, the three of us (my daughter, my son, and I) spent the evening playing Mexican Train Dominos. It couldn't have been better, even with a genuine Christmas tree.