I was taking this photo of the skeletal remains of our once beautiful, 15 foot Christmas tree, when I realized I had not taken photos during the four weeks it was up, in full-branched, light-filled regalia. I made the mistake of making a joke about it, as I watched my daughter’s face fall. “You didn’t get a photo of the most beautiful tree we’ve ever had, but you’re taking one now?” Once again I found myself calculating the time and money for future psychiatrist’s visits for my children. “My mom was so psychotic; she preferred photos of the decimated, branchless Christmas tree to any family photos while it was decorated”.
Even more remarkable, this nap-taking, Elf-On-Shelf-despising, Grinch-of-a-mom, goes all out on the Christmas tree every year. Our main room has very high ceilings. For reasons that I do not entirely understand, I am compelled to put up a very tall tree. Maybe it’s my own sense of Descartes Enlightenment, “I think therefore I am”. “Tall ceiling, therefore, tall tree”. Okay, a bit of a stretch. It just is. All underachievers have some realm of achievement or we would never get out of bed. For lack of a photo in its full glory, you will just have to trust this truly was the tree of all trees. The Christmas tree that required delivery on a flat-bed truck, three trips to Five Corners Hardware for more and more LED lights to wrap painstakingly around every branch, and several extension cords. Not to mention risking life and limb on the top rung of a twelve-foot ladder for hours on end. So why no photos? I just never got around to it. But with lack of photographic evidence, memories have a way of making all things wonderful, sublime. This venerable Noble fir will grow, and grow, to twenty, thirty, perhaps fifty feet in our hearts, and idealized memories. Sacrebleu! I just talked myself out of doing the giant Christmas tree next year. The indelible memory of Christmas past has already been planted.