This time last year, I was about to start a second job. Thirty-five extra hours, which was as close to full-time as I could get without actually calling it full-time. I had one day off a week and after a few days working both jobs, that day was strictly for rest. As a consequence, I never put our Christmas tree up. Even if I did, I know my wife would’ve been bummed out decorating alone and wouldn’t have asked me to help because I was so tired. So, no tree. But this year I was back to one job. Game on.
I made sure to get the tree up right after Thanksgiving so my wife and I could have it decorated before December. Then she’d have all month to enjoy it. We decorated Sunday night, putting more ornaments on the tree than we ever have.
Probably shouldn’t have done that.
Our tree was a four and a half footer and because it was so short, we always placed it on a table. Six years of Christmases and there was never a need to fasten the legs down or secure the tree with wire.
Probably should’ve done that.
About two hours later, my wife was in the bedroom and I was in the living room (with the tree) working on a Christmas playlist when I caught something in my periphery. Next thing I knew the tree was taking a dive off the table. Looking back, since I was about a foot away from the tree, I may have had a chance at catching it before it hit the floor. I think my eyes weren’t believing what they were seeing just long enough for me to miss my window for saving the tree.
We have a lot of glass ornaments and it sounded like they all shattered on impact. It was loud. Of course, my wife was already coming out of the bedroom asking me what the noise was. For a split second, I wanted to just stand in front of the wreckage and say it was nothing or make up an excuse like really bad gas and hope she bought it.
To say she was upset when she saw our poor tree would be an understatement. There were tears. Many tears. But once we started cleaning up, we found out only three ornaments broke. One, unfortunately, was irreplaceable.
Putting this tree back up was out of the question. In that moment, I think my wife didn’t want to have any tree.
That was not an option.
I hopped on the internet and found some sturdier trees for to choose from. Once she picked out the one she wanted, I ordered it, selecting the store pick-up option, went out to Target for more ornaments (this one’s an extra two feet taller) during my lunch break the next day, and got the tree on my way home.
This lead to her, unknowingly, nominating me for Facebook husband of the year. Many of her friends liked reading about what I did, but this was the part of her status update that really got me:
I may have lost some ornaments last night, but he gave me a wonderful new memory of him showing me how much he loves me.
You can call me a Clueless Male Person, but I never saw what I was doing as that. I just wanted to solve the problem so she wouldn’t be upset. My feelings seem to come out fine when I write, but in actual speaking english? Not so much. Probably something we guys lost when our X broke off into a Y. Made me feel good to know even though it doesn’t come out a lot, my wife knows I love her.
As a bonus, the cynic in me got a nice reminder that sometimes an even better result can come out of something bad. Makes it a little sweeter that I got this reminder around the holidays.