Pat Layton Pat Layton Pat Layton: Sweet Tea for Surrendered Sisters
On the 12th Day of Christmas My True Love Said to Me....
"Honey we went and got a tree!" (Lalala goes here)

I don't know about your marriage, but in my marriage, after 32 years, we have learned about give and take.One of the things that I have learned about my honey is that he HATES the process of buying and putting up Christmas trees.

We do not live in the land of "White Christmas" like the ones on all of the LIFETIME Christmas movies that have been playing since Thanksgiving and have entertained me while I have decorated my house. You know the ones where in every movie they all gather up in their heaviest coats and scarves and fury caps and wander around as the snow falls amongst the rows of trees at the tree farm. After they decide which majestic beauty to chop down with their shiny new ax, they tie it neatly on the top of the car, or the back of their sleigh and ride into the sunset with their hot chocolate.

NOT!

We get our tree at Home Depot wearing flip flops and tank tops. Over the years my honey and I have had our most public arguments in tree lots. He HATES the fact that I have to see, touch and smell so many trees in order to find the "Perfect Tree".

My "Perfect Tree" has to be a 7-8 foot Frazier Fir that is full and lush all around since I often put it in the middle of the room. There have been some Christmases over the years where I have put up 3 trees!!!
Mercy!

In any case, it usually takes me at least 3 lot stops to find the tree of my dreams.

Honey HATES that.

It always starts bad when he lifts the first tree that we come to up for my scrutiny, you know the one that 100 other people rejected earlier in the day. It is the one laying on the top of the pile with all the netting cut off and clear signs that say REJECTED!!!!!!!
My honey sees that one kind of like the dogie in the pound that whines and begs for you to take it home.
Or it could be a "let's just get this thing done" attitude. I think we all know the truth here.

The next part of the "FUN" that we share is getting that final choice up on the roof of the car. Actually, that is not always the worst part. The worst part is getting it BACK up on the roof of the car halfway home after it has slowly slid down the side until it is resting on the window of the drivers side and we can not see to turn left!
Now THAT is Fun!!!

Anyway, we get the tree home and drag it off the top of the car and begin trying to fit the bottom of that BIG FAT TREE into that tiny red and green stand with the bent feet.
(I follow a similar process each year when I try to step into last years holiday Jeans with the Gold thread and sparkly flecks)
This part is NOT pretty to watch.

When we finally accomplish that feat we lift her up, twist and turn to get the "best" side. Stand back to check her out, then scream and run as she topples over towards us.

There have been MANY! MANY! years when this was the moment for digging out the fishing line, tying it to to the top of the tree and thumb tacking it to the ceiling. This looks great with one of those tacky gold garlands running down to hide it.

When our children were small and innocent, this would also be the moment that I would send them from the room to watch a Christmas movie on LIFETIME. Something where someone was cutting a tree down in the snow!!

My honey is has been sold out to God for over 24 years. He has served as an Elder at our church for 12 years!
He is a man of God who has read through the Bible a WHOLE BUNCH OF TIMES and knows the 10 Commandments!
However, during these moments, we reverts back to our "drinking and smokin' days" and sometimes forgets his manners.
He Hates this process.

The good news is...as marriage goes on, we do learn what each other "HATES".
We learn one anothers strengths and weaknesses.
We learn to give and take.
We learn what rings one anothers chimes and what makes one another NUTS!!!!

I have learned.

A few years back I accepted full responsibility for the choosing, buying and setting up of the Layton Family Christmas tree.

The first smart thing that I did was to take out a second mortgage on our home and bought a REALLY GOOD TREE STAND!!!
(Just kidding about the 2nd honey) It has been worth every cent!
This thing runs out to the car, jumps up on the hood and attaches itself to the base of the tree and does not come off until I tell it to!

A few years back I began taking one or two kids with me and getting our tree before honey gets home from work. I have it in the house on the stand with the lights on it (LIGHTS ARE A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY!!).
Then everyone is calm and "Hallmark" ready to gather together to decorate it. Sometimes.
As the kids have grown I often decorate by myself and thoroughly enjoy the peace and quiet and opportunity to be creative.

ALL OF THIS STORY LEADS TO THIS!

This year, my honey saw that my schedule was a bit FRIED!! He took it upon his sweet self along with our oldest son and our baby girl who is home from college for Winter break, to surprise me.

The three of them went yesterday and bought me a TREE!!!

They went to Home Depot, picked it out, brought it home and put it in the stand!

It is an 8 ft Frazier Fir that is PERFECT, full and round on all sides.
It was in the living room ready to be put where I wanted it to reside as our guest of honor for the next 2 weeks!

I am in love....

The tree is very nice too.


11 Comments:

Isn't it amazing the "different person" picking out a Christmas Tree can bring out?!?!

Been there, done that!

I was truly touched how hubby and family went and got this year's tree for you...touched me because it was done with so much love!

Anonymous Tim Layton said...

Hey Mom,

This totally cracked me up! I was especially entertained by the thought of you and dad, the happy couple, on the side of the road in heavy holiday traffic trying to manhandle the tree back up on the roof of the car. That mental picture is going to bring smiles to my face all day long.

I was gald to hear that you liked the tree. I, for one, was nervous about the proposition of picking for you. But Julianna was well trained and she kept pointing, on after another, to the one in th eback of the stack, still wrapped up... "I wonder what THAT one looks like?"

Is this just a female DNA thing? It was just like what I've seen you do as a kid, then my wonderful wife do for the past 18 Christmas Trees. At least by now I knew that it was best to just smile, retrieve the indicated specimen, cut the firmly secured endless stringy thing from it, reach in (forgetting all about the sticky mess) raise the 8' monster high in the air, and bring it down hard on the ground in an effort to demonstrate its true beauty and magnificence! At this point, hold the tree upright and stand back as far as possible so that I am clearly OUT of the picture and await final judgement from the Senior Female in Charge...my baby sister. Then do it again.

She did a great job and I was impressed to no end. It was fun.

One thought: When I was young (I was never innocent) I'm pretty sure Lifetime wasn't around. I think it was three channels over the antenna on the side of the house!

Love Ya! Tim

Anonymous Tim Layton said...

BTW- You got sumpin wrong with your clock thing on your blog...I didn't see the light of day until 8:30 this morning..it is now 9:19 am...and here I was all impressed you were blogging at 2:30 in the morning..I guess that means it was 5:30, which is still pretty impressive, especially on a Saturday. Have a great weekend! Tim

Blogger Cheri said...

I just loved this post! My son, my friend and I went this week to pick out a real live tree. The top ended up being a little Charlie Brown-ish, so I cut some branches off the bottom and wired them to the top! It works (but I hope those branches don't turn brown before Christmas!)

Merry Christmas!

Blogger Pat said...

Beth,
I was touched as well. It may turn out to be the best gift this year!
Merry Christmas!
pat

Blogger Pat said...

Oh Timmy, Timmy Timmy....If you want to be really nice to your Mama you will not refer to rabbit ears on my blog. Do you understand young man!!!???
Because I said so!
xxxx

Blogger Pat said...

Cheri,
This cracked me up!! So funny.
Let me know how it does,
Merry Christmas,
pat

Blogger Joyful said...

What a sweet story! Your honey is a keeper for sure!

Do I even dare admit that our tree isn't up yet? Oh please have mercy! Because of visits every year to the emergency room with my son when he was young, we finally figured out he was allergic to the tree! We purchased a very life-like 10 foot, pre-lit artificial tree that is magnificant - but it also weighs a tonne!!! I have to wait on my honey to put it up each year. I'm still waiting.... :o)

I enjoyed reading all your comments - especially the ones between you and your son...made me smile!

Oh, and by the way, we do live in the land of "White Christmas" and we did enjoy the years of chopping down our tree with our new ax while adorning our heaviest coats, scarves and fury caps; singing carols all the way home in the car and then sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace as the sun set. :o)

Blessings,
Joy

Blogger Jennifer said...

Well we didn't have any issues with picking out our Christmas tree, but putting the lights on the house was an entirely different story! My, my the not so pretty parts that come out of us over how the lights are suppose to look on the house. Our argument was over putting lights on the second story of our house. Since I am afraid of heights I certainly wasn't going to do it. Needless to say, I didn't win! Ah, maybe next year!

Enjoy your tree and your family! That was such a beautiful gift!

Jennifer

Blogger Megan said...

I could write a comment 3 pages long about our Christmas tree experiences. I have been married for five years, and my family always had the Hallmark Christmas Tree experience-scarves and mittens and all. His family had a fake tree. A couple of years ago I seriously thought I was going to get divorced over the Christmas tree (we got a dog instead). I will spare you the hilarious details but it basically involved one crooked and GIANORMOUS tree, four trips to the hardware store, a new Christmas tree stand, me apologizing profusely, cutting off already lit tree branches, removing several thousand Christmas lights from the tree, one severed light strand, Four Tree tippings , 20 lb test fishing wire nailed to the wall, and my husband trying (unsuccessfully) to "take the edge off" with peach schnapps. I can seriously sympathize.

Blogger Melinda said...

This was hilarious! Can't wait to see it decorated!

Your Honey is a keeper for sure, but then, you already knew that, didn't you? :o)

Hugs and hope to see you this week!
Melinda

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