Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Merry Christmas

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.


Christina said...

I like the avacado tree. I'm impressed you actually grew your own!

I would also like to take this opportunity to say...forget about whatever is in that storage shed with the spiders. Burn it down. Nothing is worth being infested with black widows. Seriosly, burn it!

As for our own "normal" tree...when we returned home from a quick errand this afternoon, it was lying face down on the living room floor, needles and ornaments everywhere with water all over the tree skirt. It looks pretty pitiful now. Oh well...maybe next year will be better.

Merry Christmas!

Bekah said...

Skyepuppy - you make me laugh! I came here to wish you a merry Christmas a day late...since I wasn't really online much yesterday...and there I am listed as a tree extremist!

LOVE the avocado tree. Maybe I should add that one next year???

SkyePuppy said...


Sammy's four little trunks don't even clear the top of the seed yet. Poor guy!

As for your tree, I suspect the cats. It starts with them batting around the ornaments, and then they get excited and climb the tree. The next thing you know, you come home to find the tree lying face down on the living room floor. It's very sad.

I'm glad Santa got to see the tree in its former splendor.

I'll take the burning idea under advisement.

SkyePuppy said...


I know having 100 Christmas trees crowding your home this time of year seems like a normal thing to you. But take it from a psychology major: your addiction to lit-up, decorated conifers is bordering on a disorder. I'm sure if I could find my DSM-IV manual, it would have your condition listed under personality disorders (NOT mental illnesses, of course), right there next to OCPD.

If you want a little Sammy of your own, you should get started soon. He's going to take a long time to grow.

Bekah said...

For three years I had a roommate who was working her way through her masters in counseling. I was a FABULOUS case study for her. I saw the DSM-IV come out of hiding more than once. :)