The Three-Legged Christmas Tree Stand

22 12 2010

The evil stand

Yes, I have many fond memories of Christmases past, but, NOT among them is the single most frustrating device ever conceived by man-the three-legged Christmas tree stand. All Christmas tree stands, and we have been through many over the years, are evil, but this eight-piece kit, when assembled, has been for eons, the bane of the life of the tree decorator.  These stands are not stable, the ring is always too small for the trunk of the tree you picked out, and the bowl is too small. A fresh-cut tree drinks water like a camel. Consequently, if your plan is to keep the tree from shedding every needle before Christmas Day you’ll have to refill the bowl about every-other hour. One might argue that this infernal contraption concealed beneath the tree-skirt is really the Christmas hero, holding the tree in position for all to enjoy, spending its working life hidden from view by a hideous reindeer-covered circle of fuzzy fabric.

The three-legged Christmas tree stand never does get its due; but, that is probably because you never get over the anger caused by the frustration of the last time you tried to use it. You feel excitement as you pull the decorations down from the attic where they have been stored for the past eleven months. As you pull the stand from the box, the colors of the red bowl and green legs and the clanking of the metal legs bring back those horrid memories of last year’s battle to get the tree straight and the number of times it had to be saved from falling over during the process. Then, before you even begin to put the tree in the bowl, you begin to resent your wife because you know that no matter how long it takes, and how straight the tree appears, it just doesn’t satisfy her. You begin to think she is tilted and must remind yourself that it isn’t her fault.

So, to save your marriage you get rid of the three-legged stand and try something different. For several years now, we have used the four-legged type with a spike sticking up through the bowl. Of course, the tree must be drilled to slide down over the spike and it is virtually impossible to drill the hole perfectly, or even close to perfectly parallel to the trunk. This, of course, means once the tree is in the stand it will be listing to one side, requiring one leg to be propped to get the tree straight. The severity of the list determines what to use to prop the leg. Is it a Lego block or the Manhattan phone book? Either way, this is a minor aggravation compared to the old three-legged stand. The spiked stand has probably saved many marriages.

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