We used to put up a tree, and lights, and what-have-you, but at some point, (probably when we were taking down the lights in July), it became too much of a hassle. That and the fact that Christmas merchandising comes earlier every year, along with the stress of presents and having to buy things for people whether you wanted to or not, probably led to where we've been for the past few years.
Christmas stuff comes out in the stores, Charlie grimaces and growls, and putting up decorations just seems like something better left alone.
There are little things, too, like the fact that our artificial Christmas tree is missing one leg, and our attempts to jury rig a replacement have led to us having to, on occasion, tie the thing to a nail in the wall to keep it from falling over. Or the fact that when you put things up, you also have to take them down. Or the fact that the house we're currently living in isn't technically ours.
For some reason, though, this year, I wanted to put up a tree. I wanted to have some Christmas cheer and happy apple cider candles burning. Maybe some mistletoe, that kind of thing. If I had to do it myself, then I'd just do it.
With some trepidation, I approached Charlie. "Honey," I asked, "do you know where our Christmas tree is?" Charlie is, in some sense, the keeper of the storage. Since the garage is mostly his domain, he generally knows where to find things that have been hidden away for awhile.
"It's in the closet under the stairs," he said, looking at me curiously. "Why, were you going to put it up?"
"Yeah, I thought I'd just see if it was still around, you know."
"Well, we did get that new stand," he reminded me. We'd found a Christmas tree stand complete with all legs at a garage sale the year before in the hopes that we could avoid the whole hanging tree thing.
"Oh, yeah, do you know where that is?"
"It's out in front of the VCR stand in the living room," he told me, and went back to whatever it was he was watching.
Tree: check. Christmas tree stand: check. The only thing left were decorations. "I don't suppose you know where the decorations are," I asked him.
"I think they're in with the tree," he said.
"Aren't they upstairs in the storage cabinet behind the cats' gymnasium?" I asked.
"No, I don't think so. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have put them there."
In point of fact, he didn't put them there. But they were there, nonetheless. This presented somewhat of a logistics problem. The cats' gymnasium is bigger than I am -- how the heck was I going to get boxes of ornaments and whatnot out of that cabinet without asking Charlie to help?