Can’t Stand It

The annual limbo beneath the limbs

Where I limbo ‘neath the limbs

Every yuletide, for as long as I can remember, I have struggled with the Christmas tree stand.

The Christmas tree stand is second only to the garden hose on my list of uncooperative inanimate objects. Some years are better than others. If I buy a fairly straight-trunked tree with fewer bushy branches down low, I am doing myself an immense favour. If you complicate just one of the engineering elements that constitute placing the tree in the stand…your life becomes a holiday hell!

I now have the tree in the stand this year but, because there are a number of attractive low-slung branches, which I am trying to retain, topping up the water reservoir has become a curious and painful blend of yoga and isometrics! I know there are stands out there with little plastic pipes and such that help deliver water to the tree…but I’m committed to this cast iron, rock solid, no-tipsy stand now….and I’m not buying another.

I still remember by father’s efforts at stabilizing the family Christmas tree using a a large bucket full of rocks. Once he had the trunk wedged into the rocks he would get on a ladder and wire the top of the tree to a nearby curtain rod. Sometimes the wire would loosen the trunk from the rocks and sometimes the rocks would pull down the curtain rod. Time for another rum and eggnog…oh, and hold the eggnog!

This year’s tree is sucking back liquid like Richard Burton. Every few hours I arm myself with a flashlight and a small ,long-spouted watering can, shimmy beneath the boughs and attempt to refill the reservoir. It is taxing muscles that I haven’t used in decades. It is ripping the teflon patch from my abdomen that was once placed there to contain a hernia. I am holding the watering can at arms length while propping myself up on one elbow and attempting to train the beam of the flashlight on the dark recesses of the reservoir so that I don’t overfill the container and thus make a mess on the carpet. I may make a mess on the carpet myself at this rate!  And to make this exercise even more uncomfortable, I am trying to see what I’m doing through a pair of progressive eyeglass lenses that are not remotely calibrated for this complicated depth of field.

This is why people buy plastic Christmas trees and spritz about the house with pine-scented Febreze.

Still, I find it oddly satisfying. As long as I can crawl under the tree I suppose I will. It’ll fall over one day and pin me to the floor with sap and tinsel. But there are worse ways to go.


4 Responses to “Can’t Stand It”

  1. I think my hubby can relate. He’s been doing it for a couple of weeks now. The needles are still falling off en masse. Nothing like a REAL Christmas tree though is there Dave? I wish you and your family a blessed holiday. (Hold the eggnog……lol…..I like that!!)

  2. Peter Graf Says:

    Always great to get your take on the holiday essential that flummoxes us all. I miss your humor and insight from the global morning show with Liza.
    Happy holidays.

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