The final season

Tree 2007

The tree is up, lit, and decorated. If I sound proud, it’s because it took some agonizing work. We have an artificial Christmas tree at home because family members have serious allergies that flare up near a “live” tree. The quasi-environmentalist in me is wincing at the fact that this is the fake’s final days. Unfortunately, it will be headed to the landfill after the first week of the new year.

It’s large, it’s bulky, it’s heavy. Too heavy, in fact, for one person to haul it from it’s eleven-month resting place in the basement. I’m dependent on having help to get it to the living room, usually just after Thanksgiving, and back to the dark netherlands after Epiphany. It’s a tree that I’ve come to love…it is thick with branches (both short- and long-needle), and it is pre-lit. I’ve always hated the task of stringing lights on the Christmas tree, so this one has been a God-send. It’s been our tree since 2001.

Why is it going to the dump? Last year one of the larger branches broke off. So what?! I just turned the offending section toward the wall, and no one was the wiser. But this year, on putting the tree together in its three cumbersome sections and plugging it in, I discovered that a whole series of lights is out too. I started replacing bulbs, but can’t find the culprit. And another branch, this time a small one, fell off. I simply shoved it between other branches, and, so far, it’s holding. So what?! The dark, holey sections are aligned and facing the wall. Visitors are now required to stand no closer than 10 feet from the tree. I should erect a barrier, or borrow a traffic cone or something.

From the picture above, taken today, it looks fine, right? I took the picture about 10 feet away. I used some fancy filters on my camera to give it a little bit of a glamour-shot look, like they do with aging actors in magazines to hide their flaws. I’m happy the tree is able to enjoy one more Christmas, brightly lit, judiciously decorated to hide the ravages of the aging process. It shines for one final season.

About Ron Dauphin

Photographer, writer, proud dad, and UCC pastor.
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