I finally bought my Christmas tree, about a week later than last year. I have less than two weeks before I leave my decked-out apartment to go home for the holidays for a week, but after agonizing over the decision (and the expenditure), I caved, as I always do, every year.
Let the sneezing and itching begin.
I bought my tree at Whole Foods, which offered comparably-sized trees to the lot across the street, at half the price.
When I was picking out my tree, the Whole Foods tree man - not an organic or sustainably farming aficionado, sporting a faded Green Lantern t-shirt - asked me, "Are you sure you want that one? Don't you want a bigger one?" After all, they were all the same price, whether they were seven or nine feet tall.
I explained that I'm a small person with a small car in a small apartment, and something bigger just wasn't going to fit.
"Besides, it's a nice tree," I said. "It's tiny but it's good. The rest of these trees are all wrong."
I pointed out a taller, fuller tree. "Look, this one's branches are dragging at the bottom. I can't hang anything off those."
I pointed out a wider tree. "And this one is kind of big but it's so sparse and sickly looking..."
I then pointed out the biggest tree they had. "This one is really nice, but it's just way too giant. That's never going to fit in my apartment." At least, not without moving all my furniture into the kitchen.
"OK..." he said, "I just want you to have the chance to have a better tree, since it'll cost the same."
"This one is just right," I assured him. "I don't care if it should probably cost $35 instead of $60. It's perfect. I'll take it."
And so he wrapped it in netting and hoisted it through the hatchback of my car, backseat down, front seat forward and tilted, needles falling everywhere.
When I parked my car outside my building, I had a hard time dragging the tree out of the trunk. A nearby landscaping worker rushed to help me.
"It's heavier than it looks!" I told him.
"Here, let me put up here," he said, grabbing the tree from me and throwing it over his shoulder. He carried it all the way up to my apartment for me.
Now it's steeping in some water in the stand, branches settling, in the one available corner of my room. It just fits. It could be taller, but it really couldn't be any wider.
This is a good tree.
I can't wait to decorate it.
Green for the Holidays
In Search of the Right Tree
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