My husband, Dan, is the freakiest Chrsitmas freak.  His iPod is chock full of carols all year 'round. In our last house, we had a Christmas room. He recently wanted to buy green corduroy pants with candy canes on them, but my constant eye rolling finally put a cork in that. It is very much like being married to Buddy the Elf.  So when Christmas rolls around, I should be able to get in the back seat and let him drive, right?

Apparently not.

I sent him out to buy a tree all by himself. I'm busy at home with the baby and yada, yada... I figured it was like sending Elizabeth Taylor to pick a diamond- It's the right person for the right job. (Oh, this is where I should mention that he's not only a Christmas freak, he's also a certified horticulturist.) So, I tell him that I prefer a white pine or Fraser fir but insist that he should do whatever he sees fit and...

He came home with a totally dead, probably cut in July, spruce* that has been spray painted green. It is AUDIBLY losing needles.... And fast! And fragrance? There isn't one. In fact, after a day of making winter pots at work, I smell more like a pine forest than that tree does.

Our home is old and the walls are flanked with radiators, so we have had to pull it away from the "tree corner" and now it's pretty much in front of the front door. Which will be convenient when it bursts into flames. We can just open the door and chuck it out into the cold, wet night. Gifts that have already been placed under the tree have been blanketed in spruce droppings.

We have decided that next year, we can take our daughter (who will then be 1.5 years old), to cut our own tree. I promise to go with them and supervise. I think that will be the only way to avoid this sort of public humiliation*, and/or in-home forest fire and/or the purchase of a team of Dysons.


*I understand that our tree is a spruce and not a pine. But I couldn't think of anything funny for "spruce"

*SPRUCE??? Oh really? Borrrrring.

*In order for me to be able to mention this to you, I had to make a deal with Dan, I get to make fun of the tree he brought home and now I have to go to a holiday party I don't want to go to (and also behave and not wear goth makeup and no growling at people). I want you people to know that I suffer for my art...

To read the complete article, join now!

With FGplus, you'll get exclusive:

  • Articles – Exclusive articles for more advanced gardeners.
  • Videos – Join our editors on their behind-the-scenes journeys.
  • Digital Library – Gain access to our digital library of special issues.
  • Need help? Our Ask-the-Expert contributors will answer your questions.