I had always wanted a real Christmas tree and so when I moved into my first apartment 5 years ago, I wrestled one up...literally. A tree merchant had set up shop in our grocer's parking lot 3 blocks down the street and one evening, I coaxed my 9 year-old neice to come pick out a tree with me. It was snowing outside and everything just felt right...
While she was putting on her snowpants, she wondered aloud how we would get the tree home and wouldn't it be too heavy to carry. In my best no-duh voice I asked her "are leaves heavy?" '"No" she said. "Well" I said, "It's just a piece of wood with leaves on it." She beleived me and off we were practically skipping down the street, both brimming with excitement.
We picked out the biggest tree we could find and paid for it. The merchant, an older lumberjack type, asked us where our car was and I explained that we only lived a few blocks away and would carry it home. He chuckled under is breath and said it would be much too heavy for us girls to carry. I was so offended and being passive-aggressive said nothing but wanted to show him.
Well he was right. We could barely lift the thing off the ground. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction and urged my neice to just hurry along holding the tip while I held on to the heavier trunk end. I just wanted to make it to the other side of the building where our lumberjack friend wouldn't be able to see us struggle. We huffed and we puffed but we made it out of his sight.
We dropped the tree in a thump and were at a loss for what to try next. I didn't want to just leave the tree but it really was heavy. I decided to pick it up and hug it upright while following my neice's voice since I couldn't see through the tree which was at least a good foot and a half taller than me. What a spectacle we must have been. The sidewalks were slushy and slippery, it was dark and lots of foot and car traffic was milling. I was sooo embarrassed. My neice on the other hand was practically rolling on the ground with laughter.
I carried the tree upright probably for another block setting it down to catch my breath every 5 steps because as it turns out, leaves ARE heavy when they are frozen and still attached to the tree! It was during one of these pauses that I looked up to see my boyfriend (now husband) running down the street toward us. It was a knight-in-shining-armor moment! Turns-out he had driven past us on his way to visit me, noticed the spectacle, parked the car and came to our rescue! I'd never been happier to see him. He took one end, I took the other and we made it home.
It's one of my best Christmas memories to this day. That tree was trouble though: right in the middle of Christmas dinner, we all watched in horror as the tree which had been sitting in a bucket tipped over in a loud thud and sploush. Not knowing quite how to dispose of it, it stayed on my balcony until June of that year when I tossed it over the railing one evening and my sister and I sneaked it into a construction dumpster next door and that was the end of that.
I'm glad to report that we now have an artificial tree! I'm thinking of putting it up next week-end. Gotta time it right. Last year we put it up during the first week of December and by the time Christmas rolled around, I was just so sick of it and wanted it down before new years. So the second week of December it is! Or should I wait until the week before Christmas?