With Emily in vet school, we put off getting our Christmas tree until she finished her semester and came home for break; This meant that we didn't get our tree until just about a week before Christmas itself.
We learned the valuable lesson that apparently, when you wait until the week before Christmas to go get a tree you basically have to pick whatever shit they have left over and you don't get to complain about it because 'fuck you, go get your tree earlier next time." Who would have guessed, right?
Every year we go to the same local place to get our tree. It's just sort of a mom and pop type produce store that has a little area in the back where they bring in trees at Christmas time. The reason we go to this place is because they sell all their trees for a flat price of $25 regardless of what size they are. This is a great deal, but it also sort of means the trees can be kind of funny looking even if you don't wait until they only have four left to pick from. Let's be honest though, a slightly shitty Christmas tree never killed anyone and for 25 bucks, who can complain? It's basically the tree equivalent of getting a pair of pant's at Marshals; Sure one leg is like, 3/4 of an inch shorter than the other and the fly is slightly off center for some reason, but goddamn if 12 bucks for a pair of jeans isn't a hell of a deal.
On second thought... technically, shitty Christmas trees are known for catching on fire and burning peoples houses down, while the worst that really happens to you in a pair of Marshal's jeans is they make your butt look weird. So maybe not a perfect analogy? Whatever.
When we got to the place they only had a handful of trees left. They weren't good trees either. They were like:
As I said, when you wait to buy the dregs of the Christmas Tree selection from a tiny produce stand that maybe buys the rejects of a tree farm down stream from a chemical spill in the first place it's not going to be great. Of the sparse choices available to us there was only one tree that didn't completely look like it was brought in from a Chernobyl adjacent tree farm.
On one hand at least it didn't have half the branches missing, a huge chunk out of one side, or a 90 degree bend in the trunk somehow. On the other hand, it was a solidly twelve feet tall and about three times wider than it should have been.
For reference, I'm about an inch shy of 6 feet tall. That tree is at least four feet taller than I am.
I was like, "Well clearly this tree is way to big, guess we'll have to go somewhere else."
Meanwhile Emily's eyeballs turned into two Christmas trees like a cartoon character and I presume she launched into an elaborate fantasy sequence in which she was flying around on a giant Puppy Pegasus (Pupasus?... Pegy?) decorating the world's largest Christmas tree in existence which was somehow magically able to fit into our den.
In a spectacular display of yuletide denial, she insisted the tree would be fine and that she wanted it. I, knowing better than to challenge the alpha's authority shrugged and decided that I could always try to cut it down to size or at worst maybe we'd start a fad where you decorate your Christmas tree while it is fucking laying on it's side in your driveway because it's too big to fit in your goddamn house.
The next twenty five minutes was more or less a three stooges bit where myself and two employees tried to figure out how to get this tree onto my car. It didn't fit through the tree wrapper thing, nor would it really cooperate to being tied and wrapped by hand. After putting it on and taking it off my car about three times we ended up just throwing it up there and tying a metric butt-ton of twine around it.
I didn't take a picture of it unfortunately, but trust me, it looked re-goddamn-diculous. the tree hung off the end of my car on both ends. The only way it could have been stupider is if we literally had tied it to my roof standing straight up and I'd driven home with it upright like a fucking parade float dedicated to shitty Christmas trees.
We made it home without incident, and as predicted, it was several feet too tall to fit in the house. My idea to just lay it on it's side in the front lawn and throw a box of tinsel and ornaments at it was apparently "stupid". So I had to get out the electric saw.
I sawed two feet off the bottom and about a foot off the top until I got it down to somewhere that should have been close to short enough to fit in the house, but turned out still to be about three inches too tall requiring me to cut even more off.
This abomination then turned out to be so heavy it bent our metal tree stand all to shit, and required me to get a bunch of fishing line and anchor it to the wall just to keep it from falling over and killing me to death. All things considered it didn't look all that bad once I got it in place. Huge and a tad bit misshapen, but passable.
That picture was taken before the branches had time to settle and of course, before we decorated it. The final product is this beauty:
What's that you say? The lights and ornaments look kind of sparse with large completely barren and dark areas all over it? Well the tree is about 90 fucking feet around, so yeah, the lights and ornaments we have didn't really cut it. We shoved it in the corner so that we could cheat and not put any lights or ornaments on one entire half of the tree and that's still all we managed to cover.
It also looks like somebody sawed off the top two feet of the tree and then replaced it with two feet of a different, even shittier tree. The top of our tree looks like partly shaved cat that just had surgery at the vet.
Luckily Emily is in complete denial about the abundant craptacularity of our tree and thus is not bothered by it, choosing instead to bask in the festive joy and good feeling of the season. Meanwhile I think having a tree that looks like a bag of wet garbage that got mugged on the way to an ugly sweater party is the best thing that could have happened with our tree short of having the image of baby Jesus having a glitter fight with the ghost of David Bowie miraculously appearing in the needles.
Really this tree is just a win/win for us all if you think about it.