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From the Editor: Taming The Tree



It seems to be a holiday tradition to complain that Christmas arrives earlier and earlier every year. Why the angst? I say, Bring it on. Fun parties, festive wreaths, velvet-clad babies, twinkling lights, ornate decorations…what’s not to love? It all brightens an otherwise ordinary world.

As of this writing, our friends from Winston Flowers are in the next room installing the gorgeous Christmas tree that opens our story “30 Ways to Get Into the Spirit”. And although the ghouls and goblins of Halloween haven’t even hit the streets yet, I’m ready to hang the stockings by the chimney with care. The smell of the tree, the carols playing throughout the house (really), the debate of what ornament should go where—if only these guys would come to my house.

Watching them masterfully trim the tree brings back some funny, Griswold-esque memories. I grew up in one of those families that always had drama around our trees. Getting all four of us kids to agree on the same one was a negotiation that would make Churchill throw up his hands. My mother loved to tell the story of when I was six years old, completely annoyed by my siblings, I announced in the middle of the Pound Ridge Nursery that we should just become Jewish and get a menorah.     

Hanging the lights was also always a good time—arguments over colored versus white, the maddening task of untangling giant knots of lights (“Who put these away last year?!”) and emergency trips to the hardware store to replace broken strands.

My favorite story, though, is the year that my mother proudly purchased an enormous tree—but unfortunately, not an enormous stand for it. After every ornament was perfectly hung, the whole thing toppled over. Enter the unwitting FedEx man who rang the doorbell shortly thereafter. My mom put on her sweetest, most damsel-in-distress voice and asked him “for a favor.” As she led him through the house I can only imagine what he thought the favor was. Relieved I’m sure that it was a fallen tree, he wrestled it to its upright position, securing it with rope. Talk about over-the-top customer service. He’s probably still telling the tale.

Now, you want to know a secret? Turns out that “real-life” trees aren’t the only ones with a story behind them. Even our picture-perfect tree wasn’t without its drama. I’m not telling what happened but let’s just say that the folks at Winston can make anything right, and now I’ve got a new favorite story to add to the list.

Here’s hoping that you and your family create some fabulous—and funny—memories this holiday season.

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