We were not planning on getting a Christmas tree. After today’s adventures, I remember why.

Trouble is, when you tell people (your mother in law, your mother, your friends) that you’re planning on remaining tree-less through your first holiday season as a married couple, they have one of two reactions: (a) horrified or (b) filled with pity that you are so devoid of spirit that you don’t recognize a good tradition when you see one. After one too many conversations to the effect of “oh, you can’t NOT have a Christmas tree your first Christmas together or you’re sure to get divorced,” John and I decided to get a tree.

We went on Metromix and looked up tree lots. We went to the closest one. It was cute, a little mom and pop greenhouse with a russian mobster running the register. (Mom and pop operate in a tough neighborhood.) There were teeny, scrawny looking trees that cost about $20 and larger, too big to fit in the Prius trees that cost about $45. Then, in the back row, we caught glimpse of a medium sized tree. It was round, it was full, it was perfect. It had no price tag.

If I’d been paying attention, this is where the ominous music should have started playing in my head. Instead, we asked the helpful tree lot lady how much it cost. “Well,” she said cheerfully, “it’s between the $20 size and $45 size, so I’d say probably about $30.”

“$40,” said the Russian mobster when we went to check out. Really? Seriously? Only $5 less than the full-sized trees? Nothing like leaving the tree lot feeling like you’ve been ripped off.

Then it was off to Home Depot to get a tree stand. Sold out. Home Depot had approximately 352 trees for sale (all of which cost less than the one we had just purchased,) but not a single tree stand. We looked at planters, pots, but nothing was quite right. We braced ourselves for our third stop of this, our fabulous tree procurement adventure! On the way back to the highway, we saw a junky tree lot being run out of a portable trailer. We drove up. They had the cheapie looking tree stands sitting out front. Elated, we told the cold- and bored-looking man working there that we’d like one of those.

“$20.” he said.


So 60 bucks later we have a little tree, a rickety, slightly off-center tree stand, and a handful of splinters. Not to mention about a million pine needles on the floor. But, we did get to impale the plastic Batman ornament that John got as a (non-gag) gift from one of his coworkers on the top in place of an angel. So now our tree, instead of graced by a porcelain representation of the holy spirit, is protected by the Caped Cruscader rendered in plastic. It is, without question, the best tree ever.