Since late October, there have been plenty of articles on internet and newspapers under the major themes of Christmas and New Year: How to avoid stress during holiday season, Tips to handle holidays, Best Christmas gifts for her/him/kids, Tips to help to keep your budget under control, Easy holiday dishes, etc… I was quite irritated with that. I felt that stressful situation was heavily exaggerated. Really-it’s a nice holiday, plus it’s family time. Why shall it be stressful and all printing magazines prepare us for that?!! Just relax and enjoy.
Well, I ignored all these messages and I didn’t educate myself with all those helpful anti-stress tips. During one of those weekends we (my husband, son and me) decided to go and buy a Christmas tree. It was supposed to be as simple as can be. We went to “Pike”. Pike is good. They have fresh trees, they cut it for you, they pack it for you, they put it on the top of your car. That shouldn’t be stressful-right? So, we came there and apparently each of us liked three different trees. My choice was the best (surely), but no one seemed to agree. I chose the beautiful triangle perfect shape one. My husband argued it’s too tall and won’t fit in the room. It’s was quite a ridiculous statement for the Christmas tree with a perfect shape (right? ). My son didn’t care much but he keep pointing to others just to add a flavor to discussion. Finally, after an hour or so, we found peace, and the beautiful, fresh cut tree was placed on the top of the car.
We came home and the fun started. My husband carried in the tree and tried to set it in the tree stand. He put water in the stand and tried to tighten the tree stand. My task was to keep the tree straight until he put enough pressure on it. So I kept it and kept it, he tried and tried, but nothing happened. The Christmas tree refused to be straight. I finally was tired and decided that we need a set up a Christmas mood. I put on Christmas music CD, and I wanted to prepare glintwein (mulled wine), but sure enough, I didn’t find any red wine at home. Well, “No stress”, – I told myself with the voice of an elementary school teacher, secretly admiring myself for being so calm and cool (which is not my typical behavior). No stress-everything is OK. I prepared fresh tea and decided to open Vanna Tallin liqueur I brought from Estonia this summer. It’s very famous (and very strong 45%) Estonian liqueur with multiple herbs. When tea was ready, I added honey, lemon and few spoons of liqueur in the cup. I prepared the same for my husband and invited him to give up on the Christmas tree for a while and join me at the counter to enjoy a Christmas mood. So, we both were standing with cups in our hands and drinking tea, enjoying the view of our fresh, but not very straight tree. Right in middle of my not very unique comment that our tree looks like the Tower of Pisa, the tree slowly started to fall, and it crashed right in the middle of the floor with a huge noise, accompanied with a huge splash of water from the stand. My son ran yelling-“What happened!??” My husband jumped to this puddle of water. Towels! He yelled. I opened our pantry and pulled few towels out of there, and I heard another crash…the jar of homemade Apple butter that I had bought few weeks before in the farmer’s market and had been waiting for the right moment to open had fallen down and broken, leaving a pile of brown slippery butter mixed with broken glass. My husband opened sun room and threw the Christmas tree there. I finally yelled something about it’s not the tree’s fault. The good spirit of the evening was just started!… An hour later, we had cleaned the floor, brought back the tree and, after my husband trimmed some more branches, it fit perfectly and stood straight. Our son went to bed and I prepared another cup of tea with substantially more liqueur this time. It wasn’t a tea with liqueur, but liqueur with some tea. We had tea in front of our tree. “Maybe I should have read those articles. I told my husband. “Which articles?” He sipped a good amount of liqueur thinking it was a tea. “Everything is ok.” I decided I will come with my own list of tips later. Well, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Peace. Joy. Love.