Woman@Heart

Musings on Life, Love and Lefovers

Tilting the Tree (and other slanted celebrations)

Christmas season starts at my house when the tip of our just-cut pine tree points to the corner of our living room ceiling. Every year, my three sons and I would stand in amazement as their father once again put up our Christmas tree at an angle. We’re not sure how Nick manages this feat, because the tree always stands perfectly straight when they drill it at the Christmas tree lot. Somehow, during the 10-minute drive to our house, the tree transforms into a diagonal demon.

We fought this laid-back appearance. None of us went along willingly, wanting to accept a leaning tree. Year after year, we denied reality, until finally Seth stated the obvious: “no matter what tree we picked, it leans, a lot like that tower in Italy.”

shutterstock_218126815

In Decembers past we’d meet the tilted-tree challenge with renewed vigor, each of us committed to making the tree stand straight. We wanted it pointing skyward, gracefully framed by our picture window — reminiscent of that tower in Paris. The five of us circled the tree, each with our own viewpoint. And not until we each declared that the tree was standing erect would Nick give the go-ahead to the tree lot attendant to drill. Each year this collection of pine needles, branches and sap outsmarted us.

Finally we conceded defeat. “So what if the tree is a bit off center,” Shawn said. “It’s not the tree’s fault. Maybe the living room floor is uneven,” Jake added, handing me a pile of holiday books. “Let’s just prop it up.” The good news is the tree stands straighter, but bad news is that can’t read Polar Express or Olive the Other Reindeer until after January 1.

Tree-tilting isn’t the only Fadden-specific tradition that manages to amaze, confound and delight our holidays. My top five include:

  1. sending Christmas cards to people who don’t send ones to us;
  2. receiving cards from everyone I didn’t send a greeting to;
  3. being one egg short for that last batch of sugar cookies;
  4. a size 10 shoe stepping on my most treasured and breakable ornament
  5. and the never-untangling string of lights.I dread the thought that Nick might put the tree up straight one year. Then I’d be forced to search for a new family favorite — perhaps burning the sugar cookies or hanging advent calendars that don’t have chocolate in them.But it’s the traditions my family embraces without realizing it that mean the most ­– the ones that burrow their way in without any masterminding. Tree-tilting is an annual event we hadn’t planned on, but now it’s as much a part of our holidays as leaving cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.           

This holiday season as you gather your family to celebrate your traditions, be on the lookout for those hidden moments — the ones that aren’t planned or arranged. Those are the ones supplying the most giggles, hugs and happiness, the stuff of happy childhoods.  

When you hang mistletoe, pour another cup of egg-nog or put the star on the treetop, remember that somewhere in southern California, the annual “tilting of the Christmas tree” is taking place. Maybe this year I’ll use a few back issues of Writer’s Digest to help straighten things out.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Single Post Navigation

One thought on “Tilting the Tree (and other slanted celebrations)

  1. I absolutely love this! I guess for our family its our old, mis-matched stockings. Each year I think maybe it’s time for a new set, but ours were all made for us at different times by different people. My husband has used his since childhood. They’re great representations of our family, all different in our own ways, but all very cherished.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Authors & Readers Book Corner

A Connection for Authors to Readers

The Coffeeholic Bookworm

reading books while sipping coffee

reecaspieces

Sharing little pieces of me with you.

Chick Lit Goddess

...because every author wants to feel like a goddess!

Celticlady's Book Reviews

Book Reviews, Book Spotlights and Giveaways

I Do & Adieu

Learning To Live And Love In Japan

beingmommie.com

Sharing my learnings of being a mother

Woman@Heart

Musings on Life, Love and Lefovers

Writer Unboxed

about the craft and business of fiction

Momma Meesh: Entering the World of Foster Parenting

This is the story about a single mother of two becoming a Foster Parent, one step at a time.

Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking...

San Diego Society of Professional Journalists

Supporting journalists across the San Diego region.

Writers In The Storm

A Blog On Writing

ClaireFlaire

Enjoy the Journey

The Better Man Project ™

a journey into the depths

Eye-Dancers

A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

%d bloggers like this: