December 16, 2011
O Christmas Tree
Christmas trees are hard to come by in Orlando. At least for those who neglect to shop for theirs until a week before the big day.
The only trees that were left at the place we visited tonight were lopsided, missing half their branches, or had needles so sharp that they could draw blood.
We ended up choosing one that had all three of these desirable attributes.
"We'll just have to put it in a corner," my husband said.
We couldn't believe our good luck: we got the tree set up and the lights and ornaments put on without issue. No one fought over who was going to put the star on top of the tree. No one threw a temper tantrum and had to be expelled from the room. As we stood back to admire the finished product, however, the lights on the tree flickered...and then went out.
"It's okay," I chirped, desperate to preserve the moment. Unfortunately, no matter how many times I plugged and unplugged the lights from the wall socket, I couldn't cajole them into turning back on.
Of course, the broken string of lights turned out to be the one in the middle of the tree. And of course we had to strip the tree in order to figure that out.
"Don't buy these lights anymore," my husband told me through gritted teeth.
I had purchased the lights at the dollar store and had gotten exactly one dollar's worth of electricity out of them.
While my husband and I were messing with the lights, my kids succeeded in breaking three family heirloom ornaments and almost strangling themselves with a string of outdoor lights.
"They aren't toys!" I screeched. "Or weapons!"
By the time the tree was naked again, I had muttered three bad words under my breath. My attitude got so bad that my husband had to expel me from the room.
"Are you ready to come back in and join the family?" my daughter asked 10 minutes later. Her hands were on her hips.
I thought about the broken ornaments. "I need five more minutes," I told her.