Dude, Where's My Tree?
If you know me, it's probably not surprising that I'm not really a "seasonal decor" kind of person. In fact, until Pinterest and Instagram came along, I didn't realize that seasonal decor was even a thing. I mean, holiday decorations, yes. But apparently, there is a segment of our society that re-decorates their homes multiple times throughout the year. It's crazy.
There are fall decorations, which apparently are not the same as Halloween or Thanksgiving decorations, and then sometimes just regular winter decorations before the big guns come out for Christmas. In the spring, that plain ol' floral wreath on the door may need to be switched out for a proper Easter wreath---bonus points if it's DIY---before transitioning into summer decor. But summer decor should not be confused with 4th of July decorations, which obviously should be all red, white, and blue, all the time. So what happens after July 4? Do you put the regular summer decorations back up before pulling out the fall box again? How does this even work? And do I really need several different sets of throw pillows to display throughout the year?
I've seen stuff on social media that makes my head spin. For example, I follow an Instagram account of this very lovely lady who, in addition to redecorating her home several times a year, changes her "coffee station" decor seasonally. (First of all, what even is a coffee station?) I'm not just talking seasonal coffee flavors or special holiday creamers, which I only know about because I've seen them in the break room at the office. Not only are the mugs are changed depending on the season, but sometimes the canisters are also switched out to fit a specific seasonal color scheme (come ON...). And the stir sticks---don't forget the thematic stir sticks! I just don't get it, and I won't do it. The best you'll get from me is getting my Christmas tree out of the box (almost) every year and putting the same plain ornaments on whatever parts can be seen from my couch---and only those parts.
This brings me to my little dilemma this year. After my food coma from Thanksgiving had finally subsided and I had gotten some minor Black Friday shopping done, I decided it was time to pull out my Christmas tree, put on some holiday music (Mariah, I'm coming for you), and spend some time getting in the Christmas spirit. One slight problem. When I went to the guest bedroom closet where I keep my tree, it wasn't there. Hmmm...that's strange. There isn't much storage in my house, and that's my tree place. That's where it goes. So why wasn't it there?
I checked under the guest bed, knowing good and well that the tree box won't fit under there, and I wasn't exactly surprised when it wasn't there. So I checked the closet again. It's like that old refrigerator trick---when there's nothing I want in there, but I act like maybe if I come back in a minute something will have manifested. Well, my tree did not manifest.
I even went outside to check my storage room out back, since I had done some reorganizing of my storage spaces last winter break. Maybe I had moved the tree out there with the lawnmower. Obviously, it doesn't seem logical to put an indoor tree in the outdoor storage room, but neither did misplacing the dadgum tree in the first place. No dice. My Christmas tree was just gone.
I was perplexed. Where is my tree? Who in the world loses an entire tree? And do I need to be put in a home?
I had settled in on the couch to ponder my entire existence---and post on Snapchat about my lost tree---when the washing machine honked at me to switch the clothes to the dryer. As I walked into the laundry room, I swatted the string to the attic door, and...waaaaaait a minute. THE ATTIC! I had completely forgotten that I have a usable attic now!
You see, since I moved into this house four years ago, the attic has terrified me. I figured only one of two things could be up there: masses of snakes (which would inevitably be all tangled up together and fall on my head if I ever pulled the door down) or a nomad who had taken up residence there (and who is the reason I often play a little game called "Ice Maker or Man in my Attic?" when trying to sleep at night). While this sounds a little cray-cray as I write it, these were legitimate fears, and I never even considered pulling down that attic door for almost three years after I moved in.
It wasn't until last fall when my heat wasn't working, and my landlord had to send a guy to go up into the attic and blow on something to fix it (for real), that I was able to confirm that there were indeed no snakes or nomads in my attic. I was still a little hesitant to explore that space, though, because attic ladders aren't exactly built for more...uh...hefty types like me. But still, the storage options it made available were too much to pass up. I was finally able to clean out my guest room and put all the empty boxes I was hoarding out of sight. It turns out, I also had the genius idea of putting my Christmas tree up there and forgetting about it for a year.
With this realization, I forgot about the laundry, grabbed my phone in case I fell out of the attic and needed to call 911, and pulled the attic ladder down. As I climbed up the steps, hanging on for dear life, I could see the piles of boxes that I had literally tossed up there. But, dang it, I couldn't see the tree box. It turns out, when you stand on the ladder and throw everything up into the attic, whatever went up first gets pushed to the back. Guess what went up first last year? Yup. So for the first time, I had to put my whole self inside the scary attic to retrieve that stupid tree that I didn't even want to put up at this point. Not amused.
And you know what else I didn't think about last year when I pushed that tree box up the ladder? Gravity. You know, that somehow I'd have to get it back down that ladder while trying not to fall to my death and squish my sweet dog, who is napping in his bed at the foot of the steps. I survived, but never again, y'all. Never. Again.
From now on, the attic is for empty boxes only. If I can't toss it from the ladder or will need to get it down on more than a centennial basis, I'll have to find another place for it. When I box this tree up after Christmas, it's going back in the guest bedroom closet where it belongs.
In the meantime, I'm going to sip hot toddies (jk, it's just bourbon) while I watch Christmas movies and admire the pre-lit twinkle of my 75%-decorated tree...and thank God for not making seasonal decor a requirement for heaven. Cheers!