Treemendous Christmas

My daughter and her friends sometimes play an Expectations vs. Reality game. They talk about what they expect to do, and then spectacularly fail in the reality of attempting to do it. For example, they can talk about expecting to make a perfect dive like this …

dive good

And then in reality do this at the pool …

German dive

Except without all the somersaults. Just the flop at the end is more like it for them.

I had grandiose expectations to decorate a tree outside this year. My wife decorated the outside of the house and it looks great again this year. It always does. She’s an awesome decorator. Not to be outdone, I eyed a large tree on the side of our house that would look incredible decked out with any leftover lights. I suggested to my wife that some icicle lights would look good on that tree. Nope. She pointed out that the white wire on the green tree would look terrible, and those icicle lights should only be used along the gutter. Well, duh. I knew that. Of course, I was just testing her. She passed along to me several old sets of appropriate lights and off to work I went.

My expectations were something like this …


That is an actual neighbors tree, standing about 30 feet tall (10 meters for our international readers and 90 hands for our equestrain readers), festooned with lights and ornaments. Show-offs. How do they even do that? Do they make ladders that tall? I consider anything over 10 foot high to be semi-stratospheric and virtually unattainable without auxiliary oxygen and a sherpa.

If I had attempted such a feat, I am sure my reality would be more like this …


That is also a neighbor’s tree standing probably 20 feet tall. I am sure their intentions were good, but the execution was awful. In fact, the tree looks like it is ready for execution.

So off I went outside with my extra lights and eyed the tree of my expectations. After deciding that tree stands about 15 feet tall, Plan B (aka the “That’s Too Tall” or “It’s Too Cold” Plan) was immediately implemented. A 5 foot tall tree on the other side of our house became the lucky recipient of the spare lights.


Now I can say that I helped with decorating the outside of the house and ride my wife’s decorating coattails once again. Yes! And I was back inside within 30 minutes. Treemendous.