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Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas has exploded all over the house.

This past weekend all Christmas broke loose at the Fisher farm. I had an agenda when I woke up Sunday morning because I knew things were only going to get busier before the big day and if I didn’t get a move on the lights would never get up. It’s not like they can put themselves up.
So, I found the ladder and the long hooked pole that the Farmer had rigged up for this very purpose. I got the box of lights out of the basement, spent half an hour untangling them and stretching them out across the front lawn, then I fastened the end of the string of lights to the end of the hooked pole. Wielding my instrument like a super-long fly-fishing rod, I cast up toward the top of the huge pine tree. And promptly got the entire apparatus stuck there.
I got the pole back and the end of the lights are sort of up at the top of the tree. Almost at the top. Good enough. A man on a galloping horse would never notice, as my mom says.
I brought the pole to the barn and got a garden rake out instead. Armed with that, I repeatedly pushed the string of lights up onto the branches as I moved my ladder around the tree. Almost tipped over a few times, and I imagined the boys watching me from the house. I was stubborn, didn’t ask for help, and decided halfway through I didn’t need it anyway. I got the job done.
Back in the house, I decided I would let the men go find me a tree while I dragged boxes of decorations out of the attic crawl space. I found the balls and the stars, the angels and the ribbon that I wind through the branches. I tested the strings of white lights and hung the stockings all over the living room. Then I started getting the house ready for Sunday dinner and waited for the men. I had given them less than an hour to find me a tree before we had to start cooking dinner. I hoped they would be lucky.
I remember one Christmas a few years ago when I challenged the Farmer to find me a tree on the property. We drove the ATV out back over deep snow and I pointed at the top of a huge tree. He climbed up and sawed the top five feet off. When it fell down to the ground and rolled over I burst out laughing. The back of it was just a bunch of brown twigs. My poor husband was covered in sweat from his tree-climbing and sawing efforts. We just left the poor thing there in the snow and went to visit the Johnson Brothers instead. And that’s what we have done every year – gone to a tree farm to pick out a perfectly trimmed and cultivated Christmas tree, like the cityfolk.
Well, this year I decided I wanted to try again. And the Farmer is always up for a challenge. Within an hour I heard the ATV returning, a beautiful round tree on the trailer and our two Chinese students dangling their feet off the back of the ride.
It wasn’t until they unloaded their bounty that I was told it was actually two trees tied together. Leave it to the Farmer to come up with that little feat of engineering. Bringing it into the house was a bit of a challenge, and so was finding a space for it in the living room. I got the lights and ribbon, ornaments and candy canes on it before our guests arrived and even snapped a picture or two. John and Jerry pronounced it beautiful, and I have to agree. It’s the best tree we have ever had.
Our beautiful double-barreled Christmas tree tried to fall into the room once during Sunday dinner, reminding us to tighten the screws in the base as well as tying it to the curtain rods on both sides. Now it is secure. It should make it through the holidays, as long as I remember to lock the cats in the basement before I go to bed at night. ‘Cause if they get into it, the song will be “oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, your ornaments are history…”

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