The tree

My issues with the tree started in my youth when my mom bought an artificial tree even through we lived (at that time) in the middle of Alaska on a mountain (plenty of trees around). Additionally, she didn’t want to put it together so at the age of 9, I became controlling the tree assembler. I hated that tree; I longed for a real tree that smelled of ferns and verdant forest. Unfortunately, we kept the tree until I moved out.

Fast forward to my marriage to TOG. Our first Christmas together, we were so poor and unprepared, we had no ornaments. We hung fishing lures on the tree since they were bright and shiny and already had hooks. Within days, someone broke into the house and stole the TV and Stereo and knocked the tree over getting to the presents. The lures stuck in the carpet and it took all night to get the lures cut out and the tree back up. It was a very inauspicious beginning to wedded bliss and happy holidays.

The tree issue morphed because TOG (the old goat) got tired of the half assed cobbled together tree decor. So over the course of the next few years, I started ditching all the old chipped and cracked ornaments and replacing them with what TOG now calls "the vision". I've been collecting ornaments and decorations for a little over 10 years now and in my eye, the vision is starting to look really good. My family says I'm a little psychotic obsessive about the tree, but I'm working on managing this.

The routine usually goes something like this:

TOG drives everyone to the tree lot(s).

Sometimes by the time he has parked, I've determined there isn't a suitable tree and we need to move on. He’s learned to be okay with that

When I find a tree that is acceptable, TOG attempts to make a stand about the tree being too big/full/sappy. We're about 50/50 in this discussion.

Once the tree is home we discuss how much of it needs to be cut off to get in the door/put it in the stand/ get the flippin' angel on top. TOG traditionally wants to lop off 6 inches (it seems). My position is to retain as much tree as possible. TOG always wins this one.

Once the tree is up, TOG usually trims the top despite my objections. Blood flows and then he is done. Then my daughters and I start decorating. I've reached the point where I just unpack and hand out the ornaments. And for the most part, I don't move them when they're on the tree (much).

This year, I’m letting go. I let TOG pick the tree. Even though it wasn’t quite right it was close enough. He cut off way too much when we got home (no surprize there). We got it in the stand and my daughter and I got the lights on. TOG coached us this year (an anomaly) and then as we were about to hang ornaments, we noted that the stand was leaking… a lot. Towels were rushed in and we got the mop up done then ran to the hardware store for a new stand. I was thrilled at how easily we got the tree from one stand to the other. Of course, the tree skirt doesn’t fit now and the tree is crooked (leaning) but this is about letting go, right?

So there’s the story and here’s the shots. I started working with some of the modes on the camera. I'm starting with auto shots and working forward. I think it improves. The first shot makes my walls look white and they are actually eggshell or soft beige.

Tree_three Tree_one Tree_two