The failure of my peacock Christmas only served to drive me further into the arms of my candy cane Christmas.
Except for leaving the 15 year old Charlie Brown tree up with the white lights still in place, absolutely everything else got packed for good and hauled back to the garage.
That day, two years ago, Sunday, November 22nd, I decorated my house for the second time for Christmas – this time with a candy cane theme – and it wasn’t even Thanksgiving yet. I decorated the kitchen. I decorated the living room. I decorated the tree.
If you didn’t know that it was on its last leg, it was really quite a beautiful tree. There’s nothing like that shiny red, that shiny white, those peppermint swirls and those twinkly white lights.
I was back at work on Tuesday the 24th. As you can imagine, my clients love a good Square Piece story. In the same way that watching Jerry Springer might make you feel better about yourself as a person, I knew that if I recounted the tale of my Christmas theme breakdown, my clients would leave feeling pretty good about themselves. And I’m happy to offer that service. Plus, the entire tale just makes my husband look like a saint for putting up with all my peacock-no-wait-candy-cane nonsense.
As I finished wrapping up my story to one of my male clients, he stopped me.
“Wait. Do you need a new Christmas tree?! I HAVE a pre-lit, white light Christmas tree! I paid $300 for it. I put it up once. It was too big for what I needed and it’s been in a box ever since. If you want it, you can have it. Just come pick it up.”
My jaw dropped. A Christmas miracle! Brian and I weren’t going to be able to afford a new tree for quite some time. So what an amazing blessing! And white lights! That’s perfect for my elegant, simple candy cane theme!
Coming home from work, I skipped through the door and filled Brian in. We picked the tree up that Saturday, two days after Thanksgiving. On our way home, I had to give into the crazy.
I looked at Brian, “Honey… You know I’m going to have to put this tree up, right?”
Brian, “I know.”
He really gets me. Oh no, it’s not like we have room for an extra tree. No, I’d have to take down the tree that I’ve already decorated twice and start all over. There was just no way that I could live with letting our new, fancy, expensive, miracle, white-light Christmas tree hibernate in our garage! Especially not when our 15 year old tree – pretty as I had made it – was so sad! I figured, I’ve gotten pretty fast at taking down decorations and putting them back up. I’ve already done it twice. What’s once more?
My chipped-mug friend, Sherri, was called to join in on the festivities this time. Though it was still a wee bit shy of December, I went ahead and put on the Christmas music to really set the mood. Sherri helped me take every blessed ornament off that old tree. We carefully set them aside to be re-hung once the fancy tree was up. She helped me carefully unwrap the white lights. And finally, she helped me disassemble the tree itself. Every. Last. Branch. The old, Charlie Brown tree was in a heap in the corner of the living room.
Next came assembling the fancy tree. As I opened the box, all of the color drained from my face.
I thought I was going to have a stroke.
IT. WAS. A. MULTI-COLORED. LIGHT. TREE.
To be continued…