Last year was not a banner year for our family blog. We had only 10 posts, and none from Joshua’s birthday (October 18) forward. Remembering my previous assertion that “if it wasn’t on the blog, it didn’t happen” I am moved to remember a few of the ‘lost days’ of 2011.
About five or six years ago, Kathy visited Lowe’s during the post-Christmas sales, and saw a deal on an artificial Christmas tree that she couldn’t resist. She brought it home, and we’ve saved $30 or $40 each year since, with our re-useable artificial tree. Sadly, it drives Joshua crazy — he actively hates the very idea of an artificial tree. But once you have a fake tree, you might as well use it; so we’ve turned a deaf ear to the grinding of his teeth.
This year, he’d had enough. “I don’t care about the money,” Joshua insisted. “This may be the last Christmas I am living at home, and by golly we’re getting a real tree.” Sensing our objection, he headed us off at the pass. “I’ll pay,” he growled.
So we all jumped in the car after church on that fine December day, and we soon found ourselves in the Lowe’s parking lot. Dutifully, we trooped in behind Joshua, as he dismissed the lesser trees and settled on a sturdy-looking $40 specimen.
“Now that’s a Noble Fir,” I told the kids, showing off my arboreal expertise.
“Yeah, we can read, too, Dad.” They pointed at the ‘Noble Firs’ sign that I was trying to conceal.
Soon we had bagged the tree and were tying it to the roof of our van, in triumph. We brought it home and found the tree stand that Debbie L. had somehow not forced us to give to the Goodwill in one of her several stints as our garage-cleaning and decluttering consultant.
It was actually quite a fun family outing, nearly worth the $40 that poor Joshua had to shell out for the tree. The only problem was that the tree was so perfectly formed, that everyone who saw it assumed it was a fake tree, which drove Joshua back to grinding his teeth. Still, it was very nice to have the scent of pine in the house — we kept it until the end of January, to eke out every last penny of value.
Even the new kittens liked it. Turning up their noses at their water bowls, they insisted on drinking out of the tree-stand at the base of the tree.