It has to be HIS Idea, ya know!

We finally took down the Christmas tree. Next to ironing, I count it as one my least favorite tasks, so I procrastinate. Fortunately, January 12th-ish was still the Christmas season (albeit the last day thereof) according to the Church calendar.

“Boy that piece of wood made all the difference in the world!” It was about the third time in ten minutes my husband had said that. The oft-overrated and misunderstood beast known as the tender male ego probably needed a stroking at this point; but I just couldn’t do it.

I sweetly smiled and left it at that. Except I was not conditioned to just leave things “at that”. I was raised to debate, cajole and justify. I was also conditioned to take credit where credit was due. Growing up, humility was not one of the principal virtues extolled around my kitchen table.

However, it’s one of the key virtues of a happy marriage and I’m trying to adjust accordingly. After nineteen years, I can comfortably say my mother was right: It’s not a good idea until it’s his.

Wives are the brainchild of the family. We come up with all sorts of brilliant ideas that go unheeded until they are uttered from the male mouth.

The board was my idea. A year ago. As in Christmas, 2004. After a day in Boone, we were home with our fresh cut tree—an eleven-foot excuse for instant divorce.

Perhaps it was the fresh mountain air and excitement of catching the first snow flurries of the season on our tongues, but it seemed like a grand idea at the time. Besides, we hadn’t had to lift it yet. Or figure out how to make it stand without a root ball.

So there we were in our front yard with this eleven-foot carcass wrapped in red nylon netting. We dutifully sawed the bottom of the trunk until it fit securely in our tree stand. All four of us carried the beast inside, no one wanting to admit how heavy it was. Why ruin the festive spirit?

We stood the tree up in the family room, scraping the ceiling then and the next eight times we attempted to prop it back up. Seems our tree stand wasn’t made to hold the Abominable Snowman; which is exactly what our tree looked like after we tied it to the walls and cabinets.

But before Mr. Abominable was born, Scott went to Lowes for a new tree stand. “Get a 4 by 4 piece of plywood while you’re there. I think if we attach the stand to the wood it’ll give the tree a wider base for weight distribution and balance.” Did he listen? No.

The new stand crumpled and bent from the weight of the tree. Pine needles, sap and raw nerves flew everywhere. Muttering under my breath about plywood and attorneys, I scrounged up the hammer, nails and rope.

This Christmas, we settled for a conservative ten footer. This Christmas, we were prepared. I bought a tree stand that specified, “holds up to a ten foot tree”. And Scott made sure the tree didn’t enter the house until he laid down his newly purchased 4 x 4 board.

It was his idea you know.

Soccer Moms were so 20th Century—We’re Bus Stop Mommies now!

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