Monday, December 14, 2009

That Damn Tree Stand

Yesterday we finally bought our Christmas tree and decorated the house. We’re later than usual, but we’ve had to make a lot of changes due to the problems I’ve had with this pregnancy. More on those problems later.

Along with putting up the Christmas tree came the annual Bitch Fest between me and my husband. Every year what I imagine goes without much ado for other families, causes major friction between us. That is the placing of the tree in the stand, which is now the part of the holidays I dread the most. We’ve gone through various stands over the years. Usually after maneuvering the tree and trying to get the screws into the trunk while lying on cold concrete, all the while grunting and mumbling a few choice words, Pat declares it’s time for a new stand because whichever one he’s working with is worthless. In his own words: “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t make a tree stand that’s easy to use.” I kept pushing for a new one this year, hoping that I could drop the tree on the ground and march into Home Depot declaring that I need the easiest, made for dummies, tree stand there is. Not that my husband’s a dummy, but for some reason, he struggles with the stand every…single…year.

After an hour standing outside, me holding the tree in place with the needles poking my hands, and my pregnant body getting more and more tired, while he tried every thing he could think of, he finally declared the tree secure. We weren’t speaking to each other much at this point - not uncommon from previous years. Pat took the tree inside and set it up for Savannah and I to begin decorating. That’s when I realized I had at least 2 hours of work ahead of me. Night was beginning to fall, dinner hadn’t been made, and I was exhausted.

The silent treatment usually continues through most of the night unless one of us needs to break the silence for one reason or another, but this is when the growth in our relationship really hit me. Pat must have seen the look on my face because he came over to me and gave me a big hug, thanking me for helping him. He then went out to get dinner, helped me place our holiday decorations in various places through the house (which I usually do solo), and gave me a nice back rub at the end of it all. In the past I would have said no thanks out of anger for all the stupid things each of us said out of frustration during the tree stand debacle, but instead I graciously accepted it all and we were able to end our night in a festive mood with the Christmas lights casting a glow on us as we finally relaxed together on the couch.

Merry Christmas, Honey. Here’s to a mature, (mostly) fuss-free holiday together.


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