I move the furniture, I ride along to make sure we choose the best tree, I screw the stand into the stump, I bring the lights and ornaments down from the attic, I string the lights, I put the ornaments on the tree with a little help from my daughter until she becomes bored. When I grow sick of The Tree and the space it commands in front of the window, I bring down the ornament boxes, put the ornaments away, take down the lights and roll them up carefully, haul all the decorative Christmas crap back to the attic and store it neatly under the eaves, drag the tree out to the lawn, sweep the needles, and move all the furniture back to its comfortable place.
With only six trees remaining on the Walther Gardens lot, choosing The Tree was easy. We took the $65 one.
First, he made himself a drink of absinthe, a Christmas gift from me, which he sipped slowly while watching videos of his daughter on YouTube while I made Fuquinay Gnog.
The absinthe, it seemed, worked. Because my husband was obviously hallucinating. The green strands of light cord were sticking out at all angles, with drunken loops like elf jump ropes. Lights were strung vertically. VERTICALLY!
I suddenly recalled why my husband was relegated to taking the tree out of the truck, bringing it into the house, and putting it in the stand. Sometimes sawing a few inches off the bottom. Sometimes straightening the tree so I can re-screw it.
Tonight, if all goes as it usually does, Marty will come back from a last-minute emergency trip to the drugstore and, when I am not looking, drip large, silver clumps of that tacky tinsel all over my work. That my daughter is his co-conspirator is largely how I know she is his.