The Christmas Tree

13 12 2010

My wife and I decorated our Christmas tree this week. Let me rephrase that-we survived decorating our Christmas tree this week. This is our 37th tree together. We’ve been married for 39 years but in 1972 I was going through Coast Guard basic training in Cape May, New Jersey, so I missed that Christmas. Then, in 1973 I was stationed on Johnston Island in the Pacific. Dependents were not allowed on Johnston Island, so my wife was back home in North Carolina.

One of our first ornaments-bought in 1973


I have finally, after all these years, come to the conclusion that if a marriage can survive a husband and wife putting up a Christmas tree together, it can survive anything. You see, in the early years we were still learning how to co-exist in holy matrimony. Putting up the tree was easy because while she had her family traditions and I had mine, we were interested in establishing our own. So, we discovered there was a lot of mutual ground. We bought new decorations each year and our likes in decorating slowly evolved. Compromise was easy.

Then the kids began to come along, Brian in 1975, Eric in 1979, and finally, Mark in 1983. The kids helped with the tree so it was a given that it wouldn’t be perfect. There might be 37 balls all hanging from the same branch, or the lights would be falling down. Many times we would decorate the tree and, then after the boys went to bed, we would make it more presentable by rearranging the lights, breaking up the clusters of balls, and redistributing the colors.

Now the kids are all grown and gone and we are empty nesters. It’s back to her and me. But now she has a more refined idea of what she wants and is more headstrong. I can string the lights, as I have for the past 50 or so years (I usually decorated the family tree as a kid), but never to her satisfaction. She seems to think the lights should be equally spaced in every direction. So, this week, after several failed attempts to please her with the first string of lights, I finally came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea-let her string the lights! So, I removed the first string, for the second time, coiled it up, and handed it to her. The pressure was off!

It's a major award!


After she finished stringing all the lights, she backed away to get a better look and was still not satisfied. I asked her how I was supposed to please her when she couldn’t even please herself. I think I was finally able to convince her that because live trees don’t grow their branches equally spaced, it would be virtually impossible to string the lights so they were perfectly spaced. I might be alone in this but I consider that a rare moral victory. Chalk one up for the hubby.

One of my wife's favorites




2 responses

13 12 2010
Stan Slaughter

Didn’t you know that there was invisible ink on the back of that marriage license. It shows up per her request. She Will get the last word no matter what…haha Merry Christmas.

14 12 2010
Bill Taylor

That is absolutely the gospel truth! And Merry Christmas to you also!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: