Tuesday, December 19, 2006

No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree

This always happens:

1. I get excited about an event
a. wedding
b. Thanksgiving
c. Parties

2. In my head I plan all sorts of things I am going to do for said event
a. design beautiful programs for my wedding
b. make little butter pats shaped like leaves for Thanksgiving dinner
c. clean up the house

3. Time gets away

4. Before I know it, it is a week before the event and I realize that I will never
a. have time to make the programs
b. find the butter pat molds
c. clean up the house

This year, I planned to have a very elaborate Christmas tree, which will be the first Christmas tree I've shared with Peter (and yes, we've known each other more than 9 years - sad? yes!) - and in fact, the second Christmas tree I will have purchased myself, the first being the Christmas tree I got for my sisters when I was in college. My parents decided to go away on a lovely trip to Taiwan, leaving me to handle Christmas.

My sisters were 12 and 6 at the time - prime ages in which Christmas is still full of magic and unrealistic expectations. I was assaulted by a tremendous feeling of anxiety because not only did my sisters have to face Christmas without my parents, but I had to fulfill all wishes and desires.

I got them a tree on a very snowy and bitter cold day while running a 103 degree fever. I wasn't even going to get a tree, since we don't usually, but the six-year-old put on such a sad face that I went out and got a tree. I was so freaking happy and so proud of myself. I remember reaching the door, and being ridiculously excited to show the tree to the girls.

When the little one saw the tree she wrinkled her nose and said:

"That tree is too small."

I felt as if she had yanked out my heart and stomped on it with her teeny-tiny feet. All I could remember is that I screamed some jibberish at her (it was the fever talking) and collapsed on the sofa, where I passed out.

When I woke up a few hours later, the tree was completely decorated (albeit badly). My sisters had felt so bad that they wanted me to wake up to a decorated tree.

I cleaned up the condo yesterday, and Peter asked me why.

"I'm clearing out space for the tree," I said.

"You do realize that Christmas is next week," Peter said. "And we don't even own any decorations."

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