Gisela Woldenga of Coquitlam, B.C., writes, “Last year, my search for a Christmas tree was a little complicated. Being a tree connoisseur, I wanted a five-foot noble fir, but couldn’t find one. A helpful employee showed me a beautiful seven-foot tree and suggested I cut it down to five feet: okay, then!
Once home, and properly secured in a bucket of water, I thought the tree would be fine. The next morning, it had slumped sideways and dumped the pail over. I heaved it upright again. ‘Aren’t you happy I chose you?’ I asked. Did I hear a grumble? Placing it in the tree stand, even with the help of my daughter, was a trial. The tree wasn’t secure no matter how tightly I turned the screws. Was it annoyed that it had lost one-third of its height? Within the branches, we discovered another stem rising up like a twin. Were we dealing with a split personality? After finally securing it as best we could, we hoisted it on to a pedestal in the corner. I decorated it the next day and it looked gorgeous.
All was well, or so I thought. That evening, as I lovingly poured water into its container, the tree gave a sigh and toppled over. I just stood there, not believing my eyes, staring at the disaster on the floor. ‘What do you have against me?’ I wailed. I managed to lift it up and prop it against the door.
After a desperate call, my helpful neighbour came by, surveyed the situation, called his visiting son over and they both got to work. Some lower branches seemed to have prevented it from sinking all the way into the holder. Four strong arms finally fitted the
tree back into the proper place, and I was left cleaning up broken ornaments, water and needles. I counted my blessings that the damage was minor. Was the tree happy now? For the rest of the Christmas season it behaved itself, perhaps finally appreciating my efforts to make it look festive. This year, I will begin searching earlier for the right-sized tree—hopefully one with a more accommodating personality!”