Forget about the work; deck the wall |

Forget about the work; deck the wall

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Normally this is the time of year when ” wife, kids and grandma in tow ” my family heads off into the backcountry looking for the Holy

Grail of the holiday season. We go searching for the perfect Christmas tree. The one that says “Christmas.”

This year, however, in a move that surprised even me, we did none of the stomping, sawing or dragging.

This year, with no hassle, muss or fuss, my wife Beverly found the perfect tree, the one that says “Christmas.”

I know that this tree says “Christmas” because it’s written on the box.

Yes. For the first time in my life, I am the proud owner of a new, hand-woven artificial Christmas tree.

If the plastic tree I lifted out of the box had been a regular, fake tree, I would have been forced to hang my head, gnash my teeth and weep in shame.

Over the years, I’ve always been the one member of my family forever insisting on a real tree.

I was always the guy pushing my family into trekking through the woods to cut down the real thing, and I was the one who insisted the expense, mess and hours of work stuffing a real ” almost always crooked ” tree in the holder was worth the effort.

Luckily for me, however, our fake tree is unique, and I guess its eccentricity somehow makes it acceptable to my holiday way of thinking.

And, before you pass judgment on me for cheapening the spirit of Christmas with plastic evergreen, remember that I now have two, count them, toddlers living under my roof now. One in particular, my 16-month-old daughter Lydia, has a nasty habit of climbing on and up things and would topple all but the stoutest of trees.

For instance, just minutes ago Lydia climbed up the back of a dining room chair, crawled onto the table and then over it and finally managed to traverse the yawning gap to her high chair, and she did it before I could gasp.

So instead of taking the time to drill a big hole in the floor, reinforce it with concrete and then permanently set a tree stand in my living room, we purchased what can only be called a special tree. Our new Christmas tree hangs on the wall.

Yes, it has plenty of branches to hold decorations and even a nice place to put a star or angel on top.

The only real difference between our new tree and a regular fake one is that it is smaller, one side is branch free, so it sits flat against the wall and it comes with a hook for hanging.

After the tree was finally up and I’d strung some extra lights (it comes with its own professionally strung lights, but we wanted to add a few more) my wife asked if I could live with it for just one year.

She reassured me several times that this would be the only year we’d succumb to the temptation of an artificial tree, and that next year we’d gather the kids together, bundle up in our arctic gear and then drag everyone through the woods.

As my wife was reminding me of Christmases past I stared at my new tree hanging on the wall ” lights included ” and I thought of the five minutes it took me to find the stud, drive the nail and hang it.

Which leads me to believe that if my wife ever thinks we’re going back to a real tree, well boys and girls, she’s sadly mistaken.

I’ve finally discovered the true meaning of Christmas and it revolves around daddy relaxing, and there’s no better example for this new Christmas tradition then sticking the tree to the wall.

Now that says “Christmas” to me.

Andrew Gmerek writes a Friday column. He can be reached at

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