Friday, December 3, 2010

Turning Straw Into Gold

Growing up with Charlie Brown's Christmas, I could always relate to the sad little tree Charlie Brown fell in love with. At my house, we would typically go into the woods, but occasionally voyage to an actual tree farm. My Dad would proceed to pick out the sorriest, most pathetic tree he could find - because it showed the most promise and was the cheapest - then he'd scrounge around for any free greens, rope or wire he could find left behind.

We had some trees that may not even have been in the evergreen family. Once home the mad scientist would go to work. We would mount the tree in this stand forged at the time of King Arthur, and weigh it down with these lead blanket logs - the kind of thing my Dad always had an abundance of. We would stand back, staring at the bare trunk, anxiously waiting for the bit brace to be brandished (for those of you not familiar with this surgical instrument, I provide an image similar to the $3 one I bought at a Hamfest with my Dad and later refurbished.) But I digress.

The stray greens would be screened for just the right ones to fill the bare spots. The trunk would be bored, branches inserted and hung precariously with wire, and Voila! The perfect tree. Then after decorating, we put full-length mirrors against the wall, to "double" the resplendent tree lights, each one being the size of your fist. Rumplestilzchen had struck again.

The point is that Christmas, the tree, and life itself, is what you make of it.
So if you find your tree bare, be glad you have a tree. If it needs work, man up and get your bit brace. Step back and review your work. See what your friends and family think, and pay attention - for random moments occur without notice, as discussed previously.

Enjoy the holiday season.