Our Christmas tree this year is a wild one, harvested from our western NC mountain property. This is a decision one makes knowing charm rather than perfection is the order of the day. We’re a-okay with this, Tim and I, in theory. But then you start to decorate the thing and you realize: This here is an exercise that requires a little strategy.
For one, the branches are long and drapey. For another, there are far fewer branches on our charming tree than on a professionally grown and manicured Fraser Fir. Which means rather than going in the traditional round-and-round-the-tree fashion, Tim and I ended up winding lights up each branch, and then down each branch. It turns out this methodology requires a whole lot more lights (I am delighted with this as you can never have too many lights on a Christmas Tree please see my post from 2020: THERE ARE CERTAIN TRUTHS IN PROPERLY DECORATING A CHRISTMAS TREE.
Here was the problem. Once we’d gotten all 10,000 white lights on and wrapped just so, the bottom strand burned out. We unwrapped and replaced. (This was neither easy nor fun.) Pretty! Again! Then out they went again, and we replaced again (what a crazy coincidence—two strands burning out!) and after a while those went out and we stood back and considered and admitted: Houston, We Have A Problem.
Never fear. My engineer husband + two extension cords + a lot of unwrapping and rewrapping and our tree ended up fully lit and holding.
This morning I got up, raring to get the thing decorated. That, too, would require special effort—something I realized upon placing ornament #3. I was considering this when I went to my laptop on an unrelated matter and right then and there this very poem found its way to me.
[little tree] E. E. Cummings little tree little silent Christmas tree you are so little you are more like a flower who found you in the green forest and were you very sorry to come away? see i will comfort you because you smell so sweetly i will kiss your cool bark and hug you safe and tight just as your mother would, only don’t be afraid look the spangles that sleep all the year in a dark box dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine, the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads, put up your little arms and i’ll give them all to you to hold. every finger shall have its ring and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy then when you’re quite dressed you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see and how they’ll stare! oh but you’ll be very proud and my little sister and i will take hands and looking up at our beautiful tree we’ll dance and sing “Noel Noel”
Oh, little tree.
30 Days of Joy
ps: Thanks to my sweet Aunt Nancy for the phrase “embracing imperfections with joy.” It’s a beauty!