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Friday, December 24, 2010

A Procrastinator's Christmas

This is a guest post written by my baby brother, Nick. I know it's Christmas Eve and you have too much to do, but seriously, take the time to read this. It had me laughing until I was crying.

In all my 18 Christmases, this Christmas ranks up there with the best (and worst) of them, and it technically isn’t even Christmas yet. It is 11 p.m. on Dec. 23, just 25 hours away from the big day, and the Christmas tree is just now making its appearance in the house. Yes, you read correctly. There are some people out there who put up their tree the day after Thanksgiving. Heck, we live on a culdesac with three other houses and all three of them had their trees up the day after Thanksgiving! If you haven’t guessed it yet, we’re big-time procrastinators. My Dad hasn’t even begun his Christmas shopping, and we are now down to a mere 24 hours and 51 minutes ‘til Christmas! But that’s just who we are.

If you would look up the definition of procrastination in the dictionary a picture of our family would appear right underneath it. Granted that family picture would be extremely out-dated, missing at least three or four grandchildren because we always just say, “Oh, we will just get a family picture the next time all 22 just happen to be together.” (That rarely happens…)

I should have known that this would be an interesting Christmas right from the very beginning. I had just gotten home from my first semester away at college and the only thing I wanted to do was to lay in my own bed (which turned out to be worse than my bed in my dorm at UD). I quickly lugged all my clothes and bags into the house, dropped them off in the family room, and ran upstairs to get re-acquainted with my room. I didn’t even realize that there wasn’t a Christmas tree in house until I went back downstairs.

This puzzled me because I remembered my parents telling me that they bought one. So I started the search, which really wasn’t much of a search because I knew exactly where it had to be if it wasn’t standing in the family was. I opened the door to the garage and there it was. Not lying on the ground or propped up in a corner. No, it was hanging by twine on the garage door tracks. That should have been the first sign that this was going to be a Christmas to remember.

So there it hung in the garage for an entire week. But tonight we decided that we had procrastinated too long and it was finally time to put up the tree! I was thrilled! I, mean, you can’t have Christmas without a Christmas tree (although my Dad did threaten that one year, but that’s another story…) We got home from my niece’s birthday dinner right at 9 o’clock and shortly after started our plan of exactly how to get this tree into the house.

My Dad, Mom, and I were all out in the garage when the madness began. My Mom hit the garage door opener so we could take the tree out, however she failed to remember that the tree was tied to tracks and the whole tree almost snapped in half as the garage door came closer and closer to tree, pushing the top half farther and farther from the bottom. Luckily, Dad was on top of things and quickly reversed the door, stopping the door so it was half way open.

With the tree saved, I walked out the other garage door since I couldn’t make it through the miscellaneous junk we have piled up in there. I walked out the door, hurried around the brick pillar, ran right into the half open garage, nearly slipped on the ice and smacked my head on the ground.

After I pulled myself together I ducked underneath the door this time, cut the tree down, and opened the door fully so we didn’t have another victim on our hands. Shortly after, Dad and I carried the tree around the front of the house and through the front door. As we approached the door, Dad told me to “hold up” so I did, but he continued to keep moving at full speed…I guess “hold up” now means to keep going and not to stop…Anyway, there were more confusing commands thrown at me, but we eventually made it to family room and set it down.

Dad immediately got to work sawing off the end to make it straight and drilling a hole so we could put the tree in the stand. It didn’t take us too long to get that done, and before we knew it we were ready to pound the stand into the bottom of the tree. With the stand in the tree we were finally ready to stand the tree up. On the count of three we stood it up, wiped our hands off, and stepped back to see our Christmas tree...

Oh. $&*+!

Our tree is severely curved and crooked. It looks like it has scoliosis. Yes, that bad.

All three of us were in total shock. Apparently Mom and Dad didn’t see this slight flaw in the tree when they picked it out. It’s probably why no one else bought it. They all saw, but not Mom and Dad.

We weren’t exactly sure what to do, but then Dad had the idea of getting some books to prop underneath the legs of the stand to balance it out. It took a total of 8 books to get the tree look a little straighter and not so crooked, but even with the books the tree is still darting off in an awkward angle. Oh, and not only is our Christmas tree extremely crooked, but it also has a huge, gaping hole on side. The hole is actually something that Mom and Dad did see, and still proceeded to buy it.

After at least a half hour of maneuvering the tree to hide both the hole and in the insane curve, we came to an agreement of the tree’s placement. It doesn’t look too bad, as long as you don’t look directly at the tree.

And now it’s 12:39 a.m. on Christmas Eve, and we have yet to begin decorating the tree. I think this is a sure sign that the unexpected will most definitely take place these next couple of days, and even into next week when all 22 of us gather around this special tree to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s together.

I guess this is just a sign from God telling us not to procrastinate any longer.

Scoliosis tree

Post-op tree

The 8 books of Christmas


Anonymous said...

LOL! I'm crying...he definitely captured the spirit of Christmas in the Michel house!

Michelle said...

He's hilarious! Seriously.....there are 22 of you? And WHY does anyone hang a live tree??

Amy said...

Michelle - I'm the oldest of 5 kids. There are 22 of us if you count spouses and grandchildren. And I think they hung the tree to let the sap run out of it?

Nate's Mom said...

Oh my goodness. This is the funniest thing. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, with all 22 of you! Don't forget to take a picture.

kimybeee said...

love the guest post and if nick doesn't already have a blog - he needs to get one! merry christmas!

Missy Wheeler said...

This was great. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Beth said...

Don't feel too bad, we've all had a scoliosis tree in our past. That is how we learned not to go to the tree lot at night ever again.

Anonymous said...

Love the story...the procrastination part of the family, definitely comes from Bill.
Growing up with him, I know...his middle name should have been "Procrastinator" not Urban!!!

Love you Bill...but I spent too many nites helping you type college papers...due the day before!!

Still great memories!! All, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Amy's Mom said...

A little "self-defense." We did pick out the tree in broad daylight, from a new tree farm we've never used before. It was SO COLD that we and the owner were the ONLY people there! And all the trees were covered in snow. As we were leaving to go somewhere else, the owner drove up on his 4 wheeler. So we quickly decided on the one "potential" tree we had spotted. The owner sent us back to the car (warmth!) while he cut down the tree and brought it back to us. I'm guessing he must have misunderstood what tree we had picked out - the one we saw did NOT have scoliosis!
But since all the trees were only $20, we decided it was well worth a shot.
To answer Michelle's question, we hung it up because it was still full of snow and frozen , so we wanted it to "fall out."

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha. Thanks for the chuckle. Poor tree. LOL