“C’mere,” said my husband. “I have something to show you, and I know it will make you happy.” Normally when he says that it is accompanied by waggling eyebrows and a lecherous grin.
“Yeah, yeah. I’ve seen THAT before,” I say.
“Naw, not that. Come out to the workshopâ€¦”
It turns out, like Christmas presents; love comes in all shapes and sizes. May I tell you a story about my sweet husband? I know you’re out there nodding yes, so here goesâ€¦
A couple of years ago I hit a Christmas decorating funk. Maybe it’s midlife; maybe it’s because dragging all those totes and lights out of the crawlspace seems less satisfying when there are just the two of us to enjoy the results. All I know is my Christmas spirit was about as sparkly as an uncorked two-day old bottle of champagne.
My husband, however, remains faithfully enchanted. Christmas is meant to be celebrated, and he exudes holiday joy. Therefore, when the coupon arrived in the mail for a “fresh cut” Christmas tree, we stared at each other.
“Soooooooo,” he finally ventured, “maybe just a small-ish tree?”
“MMMM. Do we need a tree this year? The kids will be here a matter of hours.”
We negotiatedÂ for several days. He finally had me convinced, sorta, that a small tree was necessary to appease the essence of Christmas past and present. Of course, his “small” (8-10 feet) and my “small” (a spruce tip in a vase) are two different things. Â I was ambivalent, weak, and he knew it. Â That’s why I was intrigued when he told me to follow him to the workshop.
To my surprise, and delight, he had created a Christmas tree. Only slightly Frankenstein-ish in design, I quickly fell in love with its charming quirkiness. The frame of the “tree” consists of three small birch tree trunks that came from my dad’s farm. My husband drilled holes in the top of the trunks and tied them together to form the top of the tree. He then spread the bottom of the trunks to form a tripod of sorts and encircled the frame with green plastic mesh. “I love it!” I said. He visibly gave a sigh of relief.
We carried it indoors and placed lights, tulle, and a handful of memorable ornaments on this sweetest of Christmas trees.Â Â The photos don’t do it justice. There’s something organic and humble about our Tannenbaum, er, Tannen-birch. Something precious and fresh. I feel Dad in the room when I look at the birch frame, and I feel my husband’s love with each and every twinkle of light.