Friday all I wanted was for Devoted Spouse to bring the Christmas tree upstairs from the basement so I could decorate. Being a pre-lit tree, all he had to do was lug it upstairs, put the various parts together, plug it in, and his job was done.
Devoted Spouse dug through all the stuff under the staircase, found the tree box and pulled it out. He opened it up and to our surprise it was empty. Empty. Where was our 7 1/2 foot relatively new pre-lit Christmas tree?
Had you been here, you would have seen a gigantic light bulb light up over both our heads as we remembered last Christmas. Devoted Spouse was disassembling the tree and had pieces on the floor around him. Quietly lurking behind him, EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer plopped down and gnawed her way through a branch, wiring and all. The tree was put in the trash.
Jump back to Friday and we have a tree dilemma. There is an old emergency back-up tree in the basement but it has no lights on it. I stamped my precious little feet and threw a tantrum because I wanted a nice new tall pre-lit tree. Unfortunately we were running out of time Friday morning — we had a luncheon we had to attend and so decided we would go tree shopping after lunch. While at lunch one of our friends said, “You should go to KMart; that’s where we got our tree and it’s great!” Off to KMart we went. We bought a nice new tall pre-lit tree. We were happy.
Devoted Spouse got the tree inside the house, out of the box and spent the next 2 hours or so attempting to get the tree to light. Oh, he got the tree assembled with no problem, but there was that one pesky section where part of the lights simply would not work. He fussed, he fumed, he said some things under his breath. All the while I, too, fuss, fume, say things under my breath and demand he take the tree apart and return it to the store. “No, no, I can fix this, I know I can.” I hate it when he says that. Now, he’s usually right; he can fix it. But where electrical things are concerned, I”m a bit of a wuss — if it isn’t working the way it is supposed to, I don’t want him to “fix” it, I want to return it to the store. Period.
Back to KMart we go, with the tree that doesn’t work. Refund in hand, we go off in search of a new tree, preferably NOT from KMart. Guess what? It is the 4th of December and there is not a nice new tall pre-lit tree to be found anywhere in this town. We went to store after store and I got angrier and more frustrated and he had to listen to my constant complaining and finally we decided to simply use the old emergency back-up tree. What about lights?
Devoted Spouse maintained we had lights from when we used to use this tree. I said, “I don’t think so; I believe we gave them to Goodwill.” He hunted; I hunted, and I was right, we had given the original lights away. But, I did come across two old boxes of clear mini lights and figured we could start with those. In the meantime, again we were short on time; we had an open house to attend, so the tree would have to wait for Saturday.
Saturday morning Devoted Spouse hauls the old emergency back-up tree upstairs and together we got it assembled. Now for the lights. We took them out of their boxes and he proceeded to put them on the tree. I said, “We’re going to need more lights.'” He said, “Nah, two strings will be plenty.” I said, “I don’t think so.” He mumbled something under his breath. I left the room. He put the first string on. Pretty. He began attaching the second string to the first string and when he plugged it in, only half of the string lit. I came in and between the two of us we tested each unlit bulb and could not get the rest of the string to light. I said, “Crap, I”ll go buy more lights.” He said, “Just buy one set.”
Saturday afternoon, back to the store I go. Did I get one box? No, I bought two boxes, because I just knew that two sets of lights were not going to be enough — we needed at least three. Into the house I march with two boxes of new lights. Devoted Spouse opens one box, takes out the lights, and begins to plug them into the remaining set of lights already on the tree. The plugs don’t match. Well crap on a crutch. The first string of lights has to be taken off the tree so the new two strings can be put in its place. Devoted Spouse takes the old lights off, drops them on the floor decides he has had enough for one day and heads for the eggnog. I agree. We decide to wait until after church on Sunday to put the new lights on the tree.
Sunday we go to church and we are both in a happy, calm mood. We come home and Devoted Spouse immediately begins stringing the two new sets of lights onto the tree. It is looking very pretty. I’m sitting in my comfy chair in the living room supervising from a distance when this small voice says, “We need about three more feet of lights.” “I’m sorry, dear, what was that?”, I remarked in my snarky tone. “We need more lights,” he said a little louder. Well now – what had I said previously about using only two strings of lights???!!! I knew we needed more but would anyone listen to me??!! I started to jump up to do the finger-in-the-face I-told-you-so dance when I remembered Sunday’s message at church on Healthy Communications and I did something rarely seen in this house…I shut my mouth. I went over to Devoted Spouse and in my kindest, most loving voice said, “Honey I’ll go to the store and buy another box and be right back.” And that’s exactly what I did.
Three days. Numerous visits to various stores. One missing tree, one defective tree, one old emergency back-up tree. Two old sets of lights that didn’t work. Two sets that did. One additional set for good measure.
Now for the decorating…And so this is Christmas…