December 14, 2018
So we are probably the only people you know who have already thrown out their Christmas tree. Yep, I bragged about Eliza Jane, then the bitch up and died. I’m not taking the fall for that. I watered her every day, and she drank a ton of water. I gave her 8 cups of water every morning for a week, and she drank it up. Maybe that was her problem. She had no tolerance for that much liquid. She seemed so straight-laced and prissy, a real temperance gal, and obviously she just couldn’t drink that much. She’s been dead for a week. We stopped plugging in her lights because she was a fire hazard, but the fire extinguisher was right next to her base, just in case.
Today Grace and her boyfriend Chandler, or Grandler, undressed Eliza Jane , stripped her of her ornaments and lights, and kicked her to the curb. They went out shopping for a new real tree because Momma likes the real trees. They just couldn’t find what they were looking for, so they chose a lovely artificial tree. They spent the day assembling her and decorating her branches. And since we got 14 inches of snow the other day and school is closed all week, Lauren and Emily were home to help. So when I drove home from work, I snapped a pic of Eliza Jane out on the street, and my new beautiful, spurious, artificial, plastic, ersatz Christmas tree…Botox Bertha (thank you Grandler for naming her).
It’s almost freakish how much Botox Bertha actually looks like Eliza Jane. Same height. Same diameter. Same needle length. But I know the difference between real and artificial. Eliza Jane was a concolor fir tree with a citrus scent. Botox Bertha has no scent. EJ grew up on a mountain. BB came from Home Depot. But EJ is on the street and BB will be spending Christmas with my family. That’s real.
These sweet kids of mine, Grace, Lauren, Emily, and Chandler, spent their time and money today taking down one tree and putting up another before 5:00 quitting time just because it mattered to me. Grace was texting me at work and I told her that after my Eliza Jane heartbreak, I wasn’t sure I could love again. But I love this Botox Bertha. She has ornaments from our first married Christmas. All the Baby’s First Christmas ornaments are here. We have a new family ornament made each year, and they are all here. The Biltmore ornament. Grace’s pickle ornament. Some handmade ornaments. Some expensive ornaments. Some cheap. My tea cup ornament. The monogram ornaments. They are all there.
And for the next several years, however long Botox Bertha survives, we will spend a few minutes the day after Thanksgiving pulling her out of a box instead of spending half a day in the car driving to and from the mountains. I’m ok with that. I’m over the drama, I am ready to commit to one tree, and I am thankful for my kids who know how to love with their service.