How To Put Up A Christmas Tree (if you’re an American living in Australia)

1. Look online, in the phonebook, in supermarkets, on farms, in the bush, in the newspaper, and etc., to find a Christmas tree that even vaguely resembles the perfect, purpose-grown, multiple-to-choose-from, Christmas-tree-lot-on-every-corner typical American Christmas tree.

2. Fail miserably on all fronts.

3. Cry a little bit, because the ornaments are gonna look dumb on a spindly, ugly-ass, holey, sad little tree.

4. Buy the best-looking one you can possibly find (in a net, so you can’t really tell what it looks like till you unravel it), and pay $50 for the privilege.

5. Drag the thing home and unload it into the front yard.

6. Smile a lot, and try to convince your spouse that, ‘It’ll look ok once we set it up and put all the lights, and tinsel and ornaments on.’

7. Fail miserably, as your spouse looks at you with upraised eyebrows, and says, ‘Uh huh, right.’

8. Trek into the back of the garage to find a rusty saw.

9. Spend half an hour hacking at the bottom of the trunk so the thing will soak up water through the fresh wood.

10. Stand aside as your spouse takes pity on you, comes outside and fixes your sawing job in 2 minutes.

11. Stand the tree upright in the Christmas tree stand and screw it in as straight as possible.

12. Stand back and examine the tree for straightness and best-angle-facing-the-front-ness.

13. Scream and jump forward to catch the tree as it overbalances towards you.

14. Sigh as spouse walks out of the room cursing the misshapen ‘Charlie Brown’ tree that’s gracing your living room.

15. Spouse takes tree outside to re-evaluate.

16. Shout at each other a little bit to vent frustration.

17. Apologise to each other.

18. Bring tree back in, straighten it as much as possible and decide to live – unhappily – with it.

19. Come back from work the next day to find that spouse has made tree stand upright without the precarious lean.

20. Feel grateful that tree won’t topple over in middle of night and squish cats.

21. Drape tree in hundreds of lights, four different types of garland, and box after box of the ‘fill-in-the-gaps’ ornaments (you know, the plain, round, ball kind…) in the hope that the holes, twisted branches, and spindly-ness will be somewhat concealed.

22. Stand back, look at the tree, and realise that this is a vain hope.

23. Come back into the room a few minutes later to find both cats sleeping under the tree branches, enjoying the lights and the pine-y smell.

24. Trim the tree that evening with spouse, listening to Feliz Navidad, placing the most special, and memory-laden ornaments towards the front.

25. Add handful after handful of tinsel to fill in remaining empty spots.

26. Sit on the couch with spouse, look at the lights and realise that it turned out pretty Christmassy after all. 🙂

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