Loose Ends: The ‘perfect’ tree that refused to be trimmed

dollyviscardiIt never occurred to me that the miniature Christmas tree I’d noticed in the Lions Club lot last week would be anything but perfect. Two friends who decided to downsize this year tried to decorate the little tree, but it resisted. It turned out to be one of those that refused to be trimmed.
Plopping it into the Christmas tree stand, they discovered the first problem. It couldn’t stand straight, as it was surrounded by space on all sides.
After a trip to find a miniature stand to match the tree, they set it on top of an old truck they had decked out with little white lights. Stringing the lights proved to be an exercise in tree-wrangling, as the tree’s long-needled branches were exceptionally limp. They soon found that hanging the ornaments was like keeping mittens on a toddler in a snowstorm. No sooner would they get one on, than another would slide off.
That afternoon, after I stopped by to view their handiwork, I was a little envious. It looked gorgeous, yet soon the sense of serenity cast by the beautifully trimmed tree was cut short. Hearing a muted “whoosh,” we watched as the tree toppled over, shedding its lights and ornaments in one swift movement. The sound of running water turned our attention to the upended tree stand. The heap of evergreen, lights, and bulbs seemed to be covered with water, yet a patch of floor with the still dry light switch beckoned.
Reaching over the tangled mess, my friend managed to turn off the lights without being electrocuted, as her husband grabbed the bare tree and held it aloft. “What do you want me to do with this thing?” he asked her innocently. He might as well been holding up a unwary varmint who’d happened upon a trap. “Just get it out of here!” she managed to sputter. Tree in hand, he high-stepped over the rest of the trimmings and made his way through the front door, only to plunge it into the closest snow bank.
Now no one will dare appear at their door singing that old familiar Christmas carol with the refrain, “Oh, Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches.” A few days ago, it was no longer merrily perched atop the pile of snow it insisted on occupying. Its bare branches were yellowing a bit. Perfect leaning up against the metal fence in the lot, the tree had its chance at glory. Oh, Christmas tree, oh poor, bare, Christmas tree!