Back before G-man and I were married, back when we and a revolving cast of guest-stars were all living in the Chicken Coop in Albany, back when my step-kids were still young, one year we got all the way to Christmas Eve before realizing, Hey! We need to get a Christmas tree.
It was news to us, but when Christmas Eve descends men and women running Christmas tree lots are at home celebrating the holidays with their loved ones. Not standing around in the cold waiting to vend to flaky procrastinators anxious to provide the American Christmas Experience to their children.
So after a frantic race around town and a sinking realization that there was no Christmas trees to be had without resorting to crime, Greg drove home and moped about his failure as a father.
He had two-thirds of the American Christmas Experience completed: wrapped presents hiding in paper shopping bags in the closet, and colored lights decorating the dangerously dilapidated balcony railing out the sliding door. Just no tree. And it's not like the kids complained or moped or said anything about it.
But two-thirds is still only two-thirds to a guy whose friends call "All-or-all Frannie." So early Christmas morning, G-man tossed off the blankets and got up from a fitful night of sleep. When the rest of us woke up later that morning, we shambled down the hall to see that he had taken all the Christmas decorations still sitting in their cardboard storage box and, with a box of pushpins, had crafted a tree out of garlands and lights on the living room wall. Ornaments hung from other pushpins, and the presents sat in a big pile on the floor underneath. Magical!
How can you not marry a guy like that? And every year since, even though we are slightly less flaky and procrastination-prone, we still put up the Wall Tree and pile the presents underneath.
The garlands and lights are from the drug store, the decorations for the most part are painted tin ornaments from Oaxaca. Lower left is our little ceramic, musical Santa Praying Over The Baby Jesus figurine. (Our alien Wise Man from Rachel, Nevada, just outside Area 51 broke last year.) And on the top of the tree is the ornament we got from Kirsten in thanks for finding Huespedes last year.