I love Christmas. I seriously love everything about it – the smell of cinnamon and pine needles, the annoying variety of Christmas music in every store, coffee shop, restaurant, the extra traffic at Wal-Mart, the screams of deliriously tired children at the mall, Christmas tree stands, time with our family and friends, hot cocoa and peppermint mochas, Candlelight services at church, the Nutcracker…
Oh, what’s not to love?
Last year at this time, I was a newly engaged woman and my fake, $39.99 five-year-old, six feet tall Wal-Mart Christmas tree was loaded with girly ornaments, shabby chic angel tree topper, and lights… only the mid-section of lights had been murdered in my (probably poor) packing job in ’09. I realized then that I would need a new tree when I became a wife… and more sports ornaments.
This past Friday, I decided, was the day to travel to the local Wally World and buy the Abercrombies a new tree. By the way, I am not sure my husband would ever have considered this store as a viable option for tree purchasing, but of course, I was planning for another $40 purchase, even if it is six years later.
I pull into the parking lot in Panorama City, CA – where gangs abound – and to my delight, there was no parking, a little rain, tons of traffic, and the whole store was like a day care for very bad, deliriously tired children. Determined to execute Project Christmas Tree, I hiked the mile from my parking space and headed straight to the Christmas aisle.
There she was… shining like a fake, gloriously glossy Christmas tree should shine, set apart from all other trees and making me drool with her giant $40.00 tag. Standing half a foot taller than the tree I purchased six years ago, and only a penny more, I hustled her off the shelf, bought 300 lights, skipped the sports ornaments, and bought some silver high heels on a strand instead.
Until I made hot cocoa with homemade whip cream for my handsome husband, boiled fresh cinnamon sticks on the stove, lit some Christmas candles, turned on a Miracle on 34th Street and opened our new glorious tree. She came with 3 poles and a whole lot of little glossy pine arms that must be attached to the poles.
What? What is this?
This can’t be right – this can’t be the set-apart shining glossiness of a tree on display at Wal-Mart! She was a hoax! A $40 dollar mirage! A lie, a phony! I sat defeated on our wooden floor, wondering where it had all gone wrong, wondering how we’d find time to get another tree, wondering how a week before Thanksgiving we could be in such a stitch.
And then we started to laugh. Hysterically. My husband offered great comfort, turned off our Christmas movie, poured out our cocoa, and I took his photo.
We boxed Glory back up. Our first Abercrombie Christmas Fail.