After considering and then quickly abandoning the idea of fashioning a garland or wreath from what we chopped off our Christmas tree to get it in the house, I thought a post might be the best idea. While appreciating the creativity and patience that goes into crafting and making (I especially like the sap-smell of pine), I remembered something: to be a writer, you have to write. So I handed over the foot long portion of trunk and branches to G and headed inside.
It’s strangely warm in our neck-of-the-woods today. A low fog set down in the night, energizing both Jonah and Gabriel on our walk to school. “Do you know how fog makes?” J asked, and then told me a story of clouds and dreams and wind, capping it off with, “Sometimes, maybe, yeah…”
My kitchen window is open—in Ohio, in December—mostly because I need to keep an ear open to G in the backyard, particularly inspired and at work on his “trees.” He was still talking about “the Christmas woods” this morning, though while in the Christmas woods, he wasn’t all that interested in finding a Christmas tree. He was more about “Gaba’s trees,” meaning abandoned tree parts. As soon as he had collected these (within the first ten minutes), he was ready to go home and get to work. He carried them around for a good forty minutes as John and I expressed our frustration at paying $35-40 for a Charlie Brown tree worth maybe fifteen. “Gaba ready go home!”
Besides finding a tree, we were continually trying to find Gaba, who had inspirations of his own. Jonah performed some impressive falling rolls, thanks to the myriad of hidden and half-hidden tree stumps littering the woods like a minefield (being simultaneously and strangely clumsy and coordinated, he’s perfected this maneuver and generally comes out unscathed). At one point, I caught John and Jonah, about 10 feet apart, scanning the woods.
Finally a suitably spindly tree was found, but not before J called for an emergency trip to the port-a-potty (I hadn’t met anyone who could spend a good ten minutes in a port-a-potty without gagging until Jonah) and then approached meltdown as he was “getting hungry and grumpy!”
Let me say something about Charlie Brown trees: they’re charming as an adopted pound mutt, but hell to light. This skinny little tree took two hours to wrap with three strands of lights, and I’m still not satisfied. Granted, once it was hung with our hodgepodge of antique/crafty/trashy/charming ornaments, Jonah exclaimed, “The tree is more and more beautiful!”
Meanwhile, G was hoarding his own stash, proclaiming, “Gaba’s instruments!” He had a horn, piano, metronome, music stand, angel with trumpet, guitar, and, of course, his new baby—a tiny Craftsman “Christmas hammer.” Reluctantly at first (but on his own accord) and then faster than I could hang them, he brought them to me at the tree. And here you have it—done and more than well enough, with minimal familial damage and mostly good tidings all around. (Wish I could say the same for the pot of vegetarian chili I attempted later in the day. Dismal failure on that front.)