And So It Begins

I love Christmas. I love it so much I might as well just marry it.

This weekend was filled with festive, twinkly Christmasness. Friday night was the 56th Annual Nashville Christmas Parade. I’m kind of a freak when it comes to the Christmas Parade (yeah okay, I’m a freak when it comes to a lot of things). You see, the first year I went with Kelly we did not anticipate several things about the nature of the Christmas Parade: 1. The enormous amount of traffic, 2. The limited amount of parking, and 3. The bitterly cold temperatures. But, despite getting to the parade late due to traffic and having to walk 3 miles to the parade route due to limited parking and being nearly frozen to death due to the unseasonably cold temperatures, it was AWESOME. I became an instant fan of the Christmas Parade.

Parades at night are just SO much better – dontcha think?

This year, having learned from years past, I packed the car the night before with camp chairs, blankets, hats and gloves – I laugh at coldness! – with the plan of driving directly from work to downtown to avoid the traffic jams. This plan, though clever, did not work very well. The problem was that we left work at 5pm, which is earlier than we normally leave but not early enough to escape the daily rush hour traffic. Doh! Plus, we had to stop and get cash – I packed hats for gods sake! I can’t think of everything!

The up side was that we got downtown in plenty of time even though we got jammed up in some traffic early on. We even got a parking space not TOO far from the parade route (about 7 blocks or so). The down side was that we got there early with all of our Christmas Parade paraphernalia and thus had to wait for like an hour outside in 30 degree weather.

The 30 degree weather thing is a strange phenomenon. See, this is technically THE SOUTH. In my opinion, there should be no temperature recorded below 45 degrees down here. But for some unknown maddening reason, whenever there are massive outdoor activities scheduled, the temperature does crazy things. For instance, this summer we had lovely 85-89 degree weather for weeks on end. BUT, the weekend when I was scheduled to play in a tennis tournament, the temperature suddenly rose to 102. This same sort of thing happens with the Christmas Parade EVERY YEAR, except that we go from lovely 45-50 degree weather to bitter 25-30 degree weather. What the hell man!?

Aaaaaanyway, we staked out pretty good viewing spots towards the beginning of the parade route across the street from the grand stand and there we stayed. For the next 3 hours. Daniel walked over to Rippy’s to get us some dinner, and the hot food helped somewhat in the prevention of hypothermia. But by the time Santa rode by, our extremities were numb with cold, and possibly frostbitten.

It was a great night!!

Naturally, I forgot my camera…but I found a couple of photos online which are pretty good snapshots of the spirit of the parade.

The Christmas festivities did not end with the Christmas Parade. Oh no they did not.

Saturday, we were on a mission to procure a Christmas tree. Since I’m not traveling anywhere this year for the holidays I can have my very own tree to love! Hooray!

So I carted up the two boxes labeled “CHRISTMAS” from the basement and began to gleefully un-pack the holiday treasures that have been resting in purgatory for the past three years.

Daniel and I decided to purchase a tree from a local tree stand run by the Boy Scouts. They cut your choice of tree, trim it if need be, and even tie it to your vehicle. Plus, I enjoy helping out the Boy Scouts in their Boy Scouty endeavors. One of my co-workers, who gets a tree from the Boy Scouts every year, told me that if you bring along your tree stand, they will also put it in the tree stand for you, so then all you have to do when you get home is plop it down and begin the decorating extravaganza!

The problem was this: I couldn’t find my tree stand. Bloody hell!

So we went to Target to get a tree stand. They had two. No, not two types. Just two. Both of them were those gigantic ugly plastic numbers. I declined. We then went to Lowes. Lowes had NO tree stands. Sold out. WTF!? But the helpful sales clerk said she knew that KMart still had tree stands available. So, we went to the depressed little KMart in the Ghet-to and found a lovely red metal tree stand and also a sparkly tree topper.

Finally we made it to the Boy Scout tree stand and picked out a sturdy looking little evergreen. The Boy Scout who helped us, wrangled our tree to the chopping block where he used the world's tiniest chain saw to cut a few inches off the bottom. He screwed our new tree stand onto the base, hauled it on top of our car and tied the sucker down using very complex Boy Scout knots.

Driving home in the hoopty (Daniel's car, which has no heat, no radio, no hub caps, one burnt out headlight, stains on the seats from unrecognizable sources, and a nearly rusted out roof) at 30 mph with a tree (already in a tree stand) tied to the top of the hoopty. Awesome.

We (he) untied it, shoved it through the door, carried it up the stairs, set it gently upright on the living room floor and immediately it crashed down sending tree debris flying throughout the room.

So typical.

After many minutes of tweaking and careful examination of the tree stand mechanisms, Daniel decided that the Boy Scout did not trim the bottom of our tree evenly and that was why the tree stand was not able to hold it upright.

We (he) needed to even out the base of the tree. For that, we (he) needed a saw. So, I went to Home Depot and meandered through the aisles, unassisted, until I found some hand saws. They weren't exactly what I had in mind, but I was annoyed and fussy and so I just grabbed one and stomped home.

Long story short (too late, right?), the saw I got sucked ass, so we borrowed a real hack saw from our neighbor, evened out the bottom of the tree, realized that the stake in the bottom of the tree stand pan had broken off, re-tightened the screws and brought it back into the living room, where we tested it and then put lights on it. All was well.

Then Daniel had the great idea to use an eyehook to tie it to the wall so it wouldn't fall over. So we (he) rigged it up and then we sat back and looked upon our lovely tree and our hard work only to watch it go crashing to the floor. Again.

Since then, it has sorta been propped up in our living room until we can either A.) figure out how to keep it from falling or B.) get a different (ie. more reliable) tree stand. Gawd I love Christmas!


mom said...

it's not exactly a "charlie brown" tree, but I gotta hand it to you, it looks pretty funny with the floppy topper. HA.

I thought Daniels' idea of an eyehook sounded reasonable, wonder why it didn't work? Maybe many, many, eyehooks are in order.

Anyway, it's a pretty tree and I'm sure once you get it standing up and decorated it will be beautiful! If worse comes to worse you may have a lovely tree to decorate for spring.

Jennifer said...

What a cute tree! Now please send pictures when it's all decorated!! If you were here, you could pick out a tree from our little tree farm!

I remember last year when I called "Frank and Marie" the morning after Christmas and was told there was a "tragedy" (well, tragedy by Marie standards). I went dashing up the driveway to see what happened (fully expecting to see Frank on the floor grabbing his chest or the house ransacked). What I found was their giant Christmas tree (fully decorated of course since it was the day after Christmas), laying in the middle of the floor! Now you can IMAGINE Marie's hysteria!!! She kept saying "I TOLD him the tree was leaning and he said it was my imagination. Does this look like my imagination to you?" I had to stifle my laughter and quickly try to salvage ornaments and then help re-prop-up the tree with some fishing line, hooks, etc. It stayed up the rest of the season!!

boty said...

The only thing that comes to mind at the moment:


even if you win, you're still retarded...

Alison said...

Oooh, what kind of tree is that? I hope you'll post pictures once it's all decorated up.

Some of my favorite childhood Christmas photos are from the year we bought a tree so wonky and lopsided that we had to anchor it to a curtain rod with a piece of bailer twine. Classy!

Mars Girl said...

Those big ugly tree stands you snubbed are actually better than the petite kind you bought. I tried to snub the big uglies and go for the kind you picked and my wiser, tree-experienced father told me that those other ones (like the one you have) don't support the tree very well... So I have a big ugly. You just cover it with an Xmas tree skirt and no one is the wiser! =)

That Christmas parade looks awesome! I'm jealous!! I love looking at Christmas lights so that parade at night looks right up my alley!

cathryn said...

I thought the eye hook was a good idea too, Mom. But we surmised that there was too much slack or it was placed too low or something to be effective.

Fishing line, hooks, curtain rods, bailer twine, and a Big Ugly tree stand! That's what my tree is missing!! :)

Terah Lynn said...

Well did you ever get your tree situated any better?? That sounds like a tree ordeal from one of my Christmases past :)