Time to Decorate the Christmas Branch


I Think it is Leaning a Little to the Left.

There is no “real or fake” debate in my house when it comes to Christmas Trees.  I have had a real tree every Christmas of my life and have no plan to stop anytime soon.  I understand the convenience of only having to “put your tree together” but as for me and my house?  We will embrace the challenge of tackling the wild outdoors and domesticating a part of Mother Nature to put into our living room for a month.  I really love everything about the entire process;  from picking out the right one, to stringing the lights, to vacuuming up needles and scrubbing the sap off your hands with that grainy soap that hurts.

I can remember as a kid how going out to find a Christmas Tree was a huge part of the season for our family and we always had a real one.  Even during times when money was tight, dad would just kind of leave the house one afternoon with a bow saw and come back an hour later with a Christmas (ish) Tree.   I learned two great Christmas tree tips from my dad growing up.  The first being that the best time to pick out a Christmas Tree is on a cold rainy day in early December because you will have the pick of the lot and not have to compete with anyone else being there.  The second piece of advice (and one I have truly taken to heart) is that the only way you can be sure that you don’t end up with wasted space between the top of your Christmas tree and your ceiling is to start with something a smidge too big and work your way from there.  I am fortunate enough to have a house with vaulted ceilings in the living room now (because it was a strict selection criteria for this exact purpose) and I love filling that usually empty space with 12 feet of wilderness.  From the wrestle to get it up and straight, to finding the “front”, to being in your own real live vacuum commercial every day sucking up needles, having a (huge) live Christmas Tree is totally sweet.


The title of this post is from a Christmas special I remember from childhood.  “Emmit Otter’s Jugband Christmas”  anyone else remember it?


I Just Saw that Thing the Other Day 

If any of you have any idea of where the remote to the TV in our bedroom is, any clues would be appreciated.  You see, around Tuesday of this week it went missing, and things just haven’t been the same since.  We have a likely suspect who enjoys picking up objects she can reach and carrying them around our house until she tires of the object and just drops it in whatever location she happens to be at the time.  The problem with this suspect is that she is impervious to my interrogation techniques.  Instead of being coerced to come clean with what she knows,  she just looks at me funny and mashes a handful of Cherios into her mouth, eating one and dropping the rest on the floor.  Then she smiles and talks some gibberish while I plead with her to tell me where she put it.

I hate losing anything and have an uncanny knack for knowing that I just saw something somewhere in our house and now have zero ability to link any images or clues together to remember where I saw it.  I wold venture to say that rarely a week goes by in my house without hearing at least one “I FOUND IT” being shouted from the basement or down the hall by the linen closet.  Sometimes we just accept that something is lost and know that it will turn up, other times we tear our house apart like our lives depend on it.  I hate to sound shallow here but losing a TV remote always results in the latter.  I honestly have no use for the television without the remote, to me it is like a bowl of cereal without any milk.

We are still looking for it, but thanks to the late Steve Jobs I am able to control my TV with an app on my phone so that is pretty clutch.  I am sure that we will find it eventually, tucked away in a shoe deep in a closet or mixed  in with a thousand other pieces of plastic in  her toy box.  Actually, those are two really good suggestions for places to look. sometimes I impress myself.  I guess until it does show up, we will continue to rough it like pioneers changing channels with our smart phones but not being able to control the volume.  Losing stuff is totally weak.


About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

10 responses to “Time to Decorate the Christmas Branch

  • angrymiddleagewoman

    I’m always impressed and jealous of those folks who dare to try to keep a live tree inside their home. If I’m not mistaken the last time I did that was roughly 17 years ago. Never again.

    As for the remote, I’ve found that Murphy’s Law also works in reverse. Go out and purchase a new remote that is non-returnable once opened. Go home and open the package. Someone will immediately find the remote. This phenomenon was recently showcased on an episode of The Middle. Best of luck with the tree AND the remote!

  • themiddlegeneration

    My family and I just cut our tree today. Nothing like the fresh smell of pine sap in the air. I use olive oil to get it off my skin. Works like a charm.
    As for losing things, I swear by the time we move out (in the next 10 years or so), the next owner will find a treasure of lost relics. The remote definitely ranks as the worst thing to lose though. Maybe that’s why we are getting obese, we don’t have to get off the couch to change the channel…

  • squirrel circus

    Am I right that the Jugband Christmas show had a jalopy full of bad-guy weasels who could give the flying monkeys a run for their money in the creepy weird category? Thanks for the holiday flashback!

  • MrsFatass

    I laughed out loud about ‘finding the front’. Though I’m an artificial (white) tree person now, I do remember how long it would take to find the front of our real ones when I was a kid.

    And I totally got the Emmit Otter reference, btw.

    And roughing it by using your smartphones? Fricking genius.

  • Joe

    We have that problem in my house as well…I mean the losing stuff. We also have a little theft in our house that does the same things as your suspect. Perhaps they’re are accomplices?

  • Spring

    My one year old recently confiscated my iPod. After 24 hours of searching every conceivable place in the house and concluding that it must have been the work of ghosts or elves, I finally found it tucked behind the playpen, under a comforter…she’s getting good!

  • Mother, Beader and Coffee Lover

    Love love love the Real Tree. I too grew up with the real tree and there is something specially Christmas about the smell (love pine tree smell)and the needles. I agree with findingthe ‘front’ of the tree… really, how does that work? and then finding the right balance between then top of the tre and hte space, and THEN getting that dmned Angel or Star to sit on top, and not list to the left as soon as your gone. Unfortunately my husband is a bit of a neat freak and that would drive him to distraction. SO a fake tree it is (green, white, blue and I saw a BLACK one this year..) so many more choices.. lol

    Can’t help with the remote… you’ll have to just tear the house apart.

  • sportsjim81

    Perhaps the above suggestion (peanut butter) would work for remote issue as well. Once you find it, throw some peanut butter on the back and it will be much more difficult to lose it…as it will be stuck to your hand.

  • life is a bowl of kibble

    Use peanut butter. For the pine sap that is. It works every time. You could also try cooking oil. Your welcome. 😉

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