December 10, 2008
Years ago, I used to wait until a few days before December 25 to put up our Christmas tree. I think because we lived in a pretty small home and it just took up so much space and we’d trip over it. However, for about the last 4 years, I put our tree up at the end of November. The kids and I love it – the lights, the ornaments, the anticipation of Santa coming down the chimney – or, uh, through the front door.
This year I also decided to buy a new tree. We’ve had the same artificial tree for a few years now and since I needed new lights anyway, why not buy one of those pre-lit trees? Exactly, why not! I looked at several different stores, including the grocery store that carried quite a few different ones but at the time, most were pretty pricey. There was one that was really nice and it was on sale for $219. That was still way more than I wanted to spend, so the searching continued.
I ended up at a department store that is similar to Walmart and I’ve had good luck finding great deals before and low and behold, I was going to find another one – this time on a pre-lit tree! They had several on display and one of them caught my eye. It was a seven foot tree with white lights, was full looking but not so big it would over power our living room – perfect. It was regularly priced at $150 but on that particular Saturday, it was on sale for $89. Awesome! The sales guy and I matched up the code number of the tree on display with the one in the box and I was set to go. It was a tree similar to the $219 one at the grocery store but way cheaper. It was a good day.
I had planned on putting it up on Sunday but ended up sick, so the kids and I didn’t get around to it. So I told them we’d do it the next day. They wanted me to get the tree out of the box while they were at school and set up and then we’d put the ornaments on it when they got home. Seemed like a good idea. At about noon, I went to the basement and got the tree and brought it upstairs. Opened the box and was kind of excited about getting it up and seeing how pretty it was going to look in the living room. And oh how great it was going to be not to have to fight with stupid lights since the tree was pre-lit – imagine my joy. Now imagine my horror when I take the tree out of the box and put the three pieces together and it’s not quite the same as the one on display at the department store. Oh, not at all.
This was my face:
I must have done something wrong – put the pieces together incorrectly? Uh no, it’s a fucking three piece Xmas tree, and unless you had your brain removed, there’s no way you could mess it up. I know – I didn’t ‘fluff’ the branches out enough. That had to be it. I fluffed that sucker like there was no tomorrow but still, no matter what I did, it just did not resemble the tree on display at the store. I looked at the photo on the box – it looked nice. Full, and almost like a real tree – it was virtually perfect. Why wasn’t the tree that I took out of that box anything like it? I got it – let me plug it in so the lights are on and I’ll put my ribbon around it – that will surely make it seem more like the pretty, full, fluffy stupid freakin’ tree that I saw at the store. That didn’t help. At all.
As I’m standing here, looking at the sorry ass tree that I bought, my husband and grown sons come in. The three of them immediately burst out laughing – I mean, roll on the floor, dying, DYING laughing. I get a little defensive that they’re laughing so much over the tree. I mean, it’s not that bad is it?
Are you serious? That’s your tree? *Insane laughing*
Yes, what’s wrong with it?
Look at it. It’s ridiculous. It’s not even tree shaped.
What do you mean?
Christmas trees are usually wider at the bottom and then get narrower as they go up. Like a triangle. What the hell is that?
Maybe I didn’t fluff it enough?
Uh, I don’t think fluffing is going to help. *More insane laughter erupts*
Come on, you have to admit, the tree is kinda stupid looking.
My husband then pipes in and says he hopes I didn’t pay more than $25 for it. Let’s recall – I paid $89 for it. Yup, that’s more than $25. At this point, I’m slightly pissed. I mean, they were just being so cruel to the poor tree, and really, it wasn’t so horrible. Right?
They left to go back to work and I was left to stare at the tree. It was ridiculous. Oh my god, they were right. Look, it’s not even triangle shaped. It’s dildo or rocket shaped:
I bought a dildo tree. Just my luck. It’s now after 1:30 pm and my kids are expecting a pre-lit, beauty of a tree to come home to so they can decorate it. I can’t present them with that tree.
I get my coat and boots on and head out. I have about an hour to find another tree before I have to pick up my kids. I go to the grocery store and look at the one that I had admired before and it was marked down slightly – to $199. That was still more than I wanted to pay. I go to the hardware store and look around and see all of the $300-400 trees, which of course, I was not paying. As I’m walking around and not paying attention to where I’m going, I run into a display of snowflakes and angels and santas and they proceeded to fall on the floor. The two people working in that section of the store are clearly not happy with me. Nothing broke (at least I don’t think so) and yes, it made a mess of the ornaments that they just hung up nicely on the little hooks, but listen, I was in a panic. I have 34 minutes to find a tree, go home, set it up, pick up my kids and bring them home to see a full, beautiful tree that they would be happy to decorate. I cannot let my kids decorate a dildo tree. That would be just so very wrong.
I’m near freakin’ the freak out and then I see it. A crushed, dented, ripped box. I’m not sure what made me walk over there because the box looked like it had been run over, but I had to investigate. I see that there is a picture of a beautiful tree on the box. It’s 7 1/2 feet tall, full and quite real looking. But I’ve been fooled by pictures on boxes before (ya, see above) and had my doubts. The tree was $250 but I’m guessing because the box was extremely damaged, it was marked down to $114. I pick it up and throw it in the cart. By throw it, I mean I dropped it twice, knocked over a wreath and almost tipped the shopping cart but in the end I got that thing to the checkout. I pay, rush home and take it out of the box (holding my breath), put it together, fluff and then stand back. Thank the Christmas Tree Gods. It’s not a dildo. It’s a triangle.
I wept. I picked up my kids and they were so excited when they got home. They did however, look at the other tree, which was still standing there and asked me what it was. Was I playing a joke on them? Yes, it was mommy’s way of being funny. Ha. Ha. Merry frigging Christmas.