View From the Left…And Right


View From the Left…And Right

by Lee Ann “Sunny” Brown

I love our Christmas tree. Whether we have gone to the tree farm and chosen it ourselves, or had the great fortune to have some dear friends bring us one back from their Christmas Tree farm in North Carolina, we always have the perfect Christmas tree. Every year we declare that particular tree to be the prettiest one that we have ever had. Every year it’s the perfect size, just the right height, and the prettiest shape. No matter how many limbs we have to trim off, or how many inches we have to saw off the bottom, it ends up being the perfect size, it really does. Even if we have sawed off too many inches because of the crooked trunk that we didn’t see at first, it is still exactly the right height after we set it on the ice chest. And after we wrap a white sheet of “snow” around the base, no one could ever tell that 6 ft. tree is now only 2 ½ feet tall. After we get it in place and stand back to admire it, I just know it will fit the space beautifully, if we could just turn it a little to the right. Now, it’s almost there, but just a little over rotated, so back to the left a bit, a bit more, almost there.

By this time, I can tell that I better get B.B. a drink. Because, I hate to tell him, but it is still leaning way too far right for me. This is our Christmas tree and it must be as straight and stable as possible to hold all the beautiful trimmings that we are going to place on it and under it. And being centered brings the most stability and balance….. doesn’t it?

After our drinks (I decide I better have one as well) we decide the best thing would be to secure it to the wall, because we don’t want it to fall over when I go to water it, like that one a couple of years ago. It is way too traumatic and stressful, being home alone, caught under a Christmas tree, covered with broken glass and lights, with all the presents that were so carefully wrapped in beautiful Christmas papers now soggy with tree water. It’s even more traumatic than being caught by your kids under the tree with Santa, trust me. All you can really do at that point, is pull yourself out as carefully as possible, roll up the carpet as best you can, close the door to the room, post a sign that says “Santa Says Have a Drink Before You Enter”.

After getting the tools and wiring the tree into the corner, we both agree that it is as straight as it is going to be, so we decide to only look at the tree from the left corner of the room. From that angle it looks perfect. And it is from that spot that we invite our family and guests to come over and gaze at the tree when they are here during the holidays.

When the tree is securely in place, it is time for our favorite part, decorating it. I love this. Now, we do not have a “designer tree”. While they are lovely, my favorite kind of tree is a “homemade” tree, filled with ornaments and memories made and collected over the years. Only two things that are new on our tree each year. One is the the paper chain, which we make out of red, green, blue, and yellow construction paper every year. The other new decoration we put on the tree each year are the candy canes. I love having candy on the tree, and the kids have always loved hanging them. It was one of their favorite things to help with when they were too little to handle the fragile glass ornaments.

As we are decorating the tree and Christmas music is playing softly in the background, and the colored lights are twinkling, I enjoy standing back and watching the scene, admiring how beautiful our tree is this year.  Then I suddenly see that someone is putting the candy canes on all wrong. All the candy canes on the bottom half of the tree are on backwards, all hanging to the left! “Who, in the Hell”, I asked, “is putting the candy canes on backwards?” (Maybe I’d had one drink too many) And then I saw my sweet little left-handed angel happily hanging candy canes, lost in the joy of the moment, admiring her work. With a little tear in my eye, I said a little silent prayer of thanks that she didn’t hear me, and I stood back right where I was and saw the prettiest Christmas tree we have ever had. I realized that whether I look at it from the far left, slightly to the right, upside down (some people hang them from the ceiling-no lie), backwards, or somewhere in the middle, it is our Christmas tree. Just like us, it is not perfect, no matter how much we like to try and control things, and we don’t all see the same things the same way but those differences are all of our personalities blended into it, and that makes it very much our family Christmas tree. And this year’s tree is our prettiest one, ever.

I wish everyone the Merriest Christmas and Happiest Holidays, ever, no matter how you look at it!

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