We need a tree this big.
OK, get the lights on first.
Don't forget to tether it to the wall. Remember the year it fell over?
OK, a little crooked. But not too bad. We'll let it sit overnight and decorate it tomorrow.
Ah, good morning, tree! Whoops.
There is no photographic record of the next two days. Suffice it to say that one resident of the house--the short one--believed that stuffing garden bricks in the big white dog-dish-looking tree stand would serve as a counterbalance and keep it upright through the holiday season.
The other resident of the house--the one who likes going to hardware stores--decided that a new tree stand might be more practical. Let's draw a curtain over the next 48 hours, and all the cursing, tree-swaying, and outlay of cash.
Just understand that the tree became known during this time as "the Riley tree," because it was high strung, difficult, and somewhat crooked. (If you've ever looked at Riley, you might have noticed that his front half is shorter than his back half.)
Finally, on Tuesday night, the last day of our lovely four-day weekend, while a blizzard raged outside and a peat-and-oak fire crackled in the fireplace (annoying Boscoe, who hauled his ass up the stairs), we lugged the decorations up out of the basement closet (the room that our handyman refers to as "King Tut's Tomb"), and got to work.
All the old, beloved ornaments:
The hiking boot (slightly damaged during the Great Tree Collapse of 2007)
And our ever-growing collection of ornamental hats:
In the end, it was beautiful,
as all Christmas trees always are.
A little crooked, maybe, but we can live with that.
Like Riley, it's a keeper.