The Incredible Shrinking Christmas Tree

The house I live in has a cathedral ceiling between the living and dining rooms. Several years ago, I decided that we needed a Christmas tree that went all the way to the peak of that ceiling. While my husband was skeptical of the idea, the girls and I agreed it would be spectacular. Now, tree lots don’t sell trees of that size, so we bundled everyone up, packed them into the van, and headed out to one of the local(ish) tree farms where we proceeded to haul my long-suffering spouse up and down along row after row after row of snow-laden prospects. It seemed we would never find the perfect one. Then, like magic, there it was. Tall and full and simply grand. My husband objected, certain it was too tall. I was equally certain it was just right. Had I measured the ceiling height, he asked? No, but he knew perfectly well that I had a better eye than he did for this kind of thing. I won the debate and we paid for 14 feet of beautiful balsam fir.

Fast forward to our arrival home. The tree was too big to store in our garage and needed to remain outside for a day or two before decorating, so my husband hauled it around to the side of the house and leaned it against the house. And then he called me outside.

The tree, sitting on the ground which was well below the level of our main floor, reached all the way to the roof and was clearly too tall to fit in the living room. Oops. Out came the ladder and the measuring tape (belatedly, I’ll admit) and we discovered that our ceiling peaked at 11 feet. (But I still maintain that it looks higher when you’re standing on the floor!) After a good laugh at my expense, my husband (I mentioned the long-suffering part, right?) got out his saw and whacked off three feet of tree. And then he called me outside again.

It turned out that the lovely, full branches at the bottom of the tree had hidden another three feet of bare, dead branches — and our tree needed an additional trim. If you’re doing the math, by the time we finished cutting off three feet twice over, my lovely 14-foot tree measured just eight feet tall…and was well short of our 11-foot ceiling. Sigh.

I must admit that I was a little disappointed at first. But the nice thing about Christmas trees is that once they’re lit up and covered in baubles and ribbons and tinsel, it really doesn’t matter what you started with, because they all look lovely. Even the short ones. Just ask Charlie Brown. 😉


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One response to “The Incredible Shrinking Christmas Tree”

  1. Suzie Ivy Avatar

    I think the best trees have the best stories. Merry Christmas!

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