It’s a Christmas scene outside my window. Snow. Sun. A lovely moment. It doesn’t help. I still feel sad. Tony Martin singing in the next room doesn’t help either.
I’ve tried three times in the past week to find a perfect Christmas tree. I knew what I wanted—a bare tree, not fake green anywhere, just sweet Led lights at the tips of its leafless branches, my twenty-year-old dried pomegranates swinging in all their maroon grandeur inside the web of light. It would be small enough to not overwhelm our living room, cheerful enough to greet the several sets of friends and family who would be visiting.
It did not exist at any of the local stores I visited. I resorted to online sites, clicking through hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures of every kind of tree one could imagine, even several which would stand up-side-down in a tree yoga pose for the season, don’t ask me why. Then I found it. Bare branches, little lights, just the right size, almost the right price, but close enough.
The box came a week later. I love to decorate for Christmas and my husband doesn’t. But this tree would be simple, easy, not involving the two large containers filled with gold balls and chains and strings of lights stuffed at the bottom of the storage cage in our condo’s lower floor. Only an electric outlet.
We would plug it in on Saturday night, and celebrate the season and the tree with martinis after the arduous task of taking it out of its box. Christmas carols floating around us, olives floating in our glasses, I, butcher knife in hand, ripped open the box, pulled out the packing, and found nestled in puce-green tissue, three ugly, red, metal, containers: Baskets, the tags said. Disaster,I said, wanting to either cry or say a very bad word. I did both.
The red things are still in our bedroom waiting for the Return Label promised a week ago so that I can send them back to wherever they came from. I returned to the computer, this time searched Amazon’s offerings, vaguely aware that they sold things other than my books. And, yes! Another tree, even better than the first, cheaper, at least. I ordered it and was promised two-day delivery. That would have been today. I moved furniture to make room for it, found the old pomegranates. Got ready.
Then it snowed. Everywhere. Apparently even where this tree has been waiting for us. An email informed me late last night that its journey has been delayed because of bad weather. Sorry, they said. I didn’t respond. One cannot swear at Mother Nature, can she?
So, I’m sitting at the window, watching bundles with legs sliding their dogs in the park below me and an occasional car creep along shiny asphalt. And once I convince myself that a tree does not a Christmas make, I’ll put on my puffy jacket and cap and head out for the figs I need for figgy pudding. My family loves figgy pudding at Christmas, but we all know that pudding does not make Christmas either. Love does, and we have lots of that, no matter what the weather is.