Picking out a Christmas tree is the single tradition that my mom and i have. Every year we go out together to pick out a tree, with me always looking for an imposing one and she always looking for one she won’t need a ladder to decorate (and as short as my mother is, that isn’t a very exciting tree). The two of us made a comic pair; both grasping lattés from the coffee shop with scarves cast intrepidly over our shoulders, me gabbing away about having to study for my philosophy final and she worried that either none of or all of her extended family would meet me at the airport in Florida.
The first two tree lots were awful, without a single tree that either of us were particularly inspired by. However, the third lot proved to be exactly the mix of good trees and comic genius that usually makes our tradition. I did a waltz with the tree, there was a discussion of market economy as it related to purchasing dead evergreens, and my mom thought the tree-guy looked like Peter Mulvey until i pointed out his prominent herpes sore.
As if tree shopping isn’t fun enough, afterwards i got dragged to Walmart to look for “the perfect garland,” which my mother had only bought two strands of on her previous trip. Why, oh why, did she only buy two strands if it was perfect? Of course, Walmart had sold out of it since she’d been there last. Also, she is insistent on doing the tree in gold and silver ornaments (classy) and color lights (trashy). I say, either go in the direction of total kitsch, or get some goddamned white lights.
But, what would Christmas be if we could agree on anything related to the tree? I almost bought a 6′ fake tree for $20 to have at the apartment, but after i got over the amount of hilarity that would ensue from me bringing it back with me i gained control of my senses and put my $20 back into my pocket. I liberated my stereo from the house and brought it back with me instead! Go me!