Two battles ensued. Battle field was our local Home Depot. The family made a pleasure trip to choose the perfect Christmas tree. This is America, there were choices – too many of them. For a woman who has extreme difficulty making choices, it was a nightmare. But I put on my best smile and marched on between rows of rows of fragrant Christmas trees. Then I spotted THE one. A little living Christmas tree standing in a corner. That was the one. I said, ‘Guys, look, what a beautiful little tree!’ And just like that, battle lines were drawn. Kids vs parents because Sean allied with his wife.
‘Nooooo! That is tiny! We want a big one! We can’t have a small Christmas tree!’ Both the little people showed a united front.
We went back and forth. But I won the battle by manipulating the sentiments of two sensitive souls. I was sure of my win from the start. I just had to emphasize on the ‘live’ tree as opposed to a dead tree.
The counter attacks slowly started dying down. They became whispers and quite inconsequential:
‘But how about all the ornaments? How about all the lights we have?’
‘But think! We can plant this one in our backyard once Christmas is over. We can watch it grow!’ Sean made the winning remark.
Bam! Boo yah! Ding, ding, ding we have a winner.
Sean hauled it up to pay.
As we walked behind Sean, the second battle started about naming the baby tree. We are a little weird like that. We name everything. Names were thrown up like juggling balls. Reginald, Nero, Luke and others that I forget. Of course, what Sahana proposed was immediately vetoed by Ryan and vice versa.
This battle was taking a serious turn. Egos were getting hurt. The united front against the parents was cracking and I could hear the cracks. I needed to intervene while keeping the Christmas spirit alive.
‘I got it, I got it. His name is Bruce. He is Bruce ‘the Spruce!’
(Get it? Spruce fir? Yes. I am clever like that 🙂 )
A moment of contemplation, little grumbling and then gradual acceptance. Nobody lost face, nobody had to give in. Mother named it. And it was an acceptable name, fun even.
So Bruce ‘The Spruce’ came home. He is a little guy. He will not be the big, gaudy Christmas tree that we have brought home every year. He will not, perhaps, bear the burden of all of Ryan and Sahana’s handmade ornaments or the glaring, unbreakable decorations and twinkly lights that we put on the big trees every year. But he will live and grow and stay ever green. He is even liked by Sage, who gives it a sniff and looks at us quizzically.
‘Humans, why are you bringing nature inside our home?’ He is questioning us with sagely wisdom.
Most importantly, Bruce ‘The Spruce’ is making me smile as I pass by his corner. It’s that time of the year, right? Ryan even caught me baby talking to the tree.
‘Why are you baby talking to Bruce ‘The Spruce’ mom?’
‘I was just telling him he is pretty. That is all! Don’t mind me. I am just happy!’