Donn and I certainly don’t agree on everything—he likes Bob Dylan and I think Dylan sounds like an animated rusty tire chain, I love to read and relax and not go anywhere before 10 a.m by which point he feels half the day is gone. But one argument we’ve never had is over what sort of Christmas tree is best. We both feel, 100%, that the best tree is a large, full Noble fir, preferably cut down ourselves on a snowy day. (it could happen!) (for my non-Oregonian readers, it rarely snows in the Portland area). We felt this way even before we spent 6 Christmases in the Sahara Desert, where we forked over ridiculous amounts of money for tiny, 18-inch Norfolk Pines, from which I would hang 3-4 ornaments while watching the branches bend alarmingly. (Which, another aside, is why I’m so snarky when people post pictures of 6-foot trees on FB and call them “Charlie Brown” trees just because they’re a little sparse. I have lived the Charlie Brown tree. They didn’t need a little love; they needed several years and some goat fertilizer. We planted them in our yard on New Year’s and left a legacy of tall green trees in that tan and dusty land.)

But this year, we are actually spending Christmas Day with the in-laws in California. Additionally, we have friends who recently bought some acreage, part of which comprised an old tree farm, and they wanted to get rid of the few remaining trees this year. They offered us a free tree—any size from 11 to 20 feet. “You can just cut what you need,” they told us, but I didn’t want to ruin a gorgeous 20 foot tree that, hopefully, some business or hotel could use. We took the 11-footer and brought it home, cut off the top 2 feet which were a sort of stalk, and laid it in the back yard, because it was too big for our tree stand.
The tree dominates the room. It is not pretty. It swallows our ornaments. My poor angel, who for years in Mauritania had to be relegated to being hung on the wall, looks somewhat uncomfortable, perched on top of a too-thick trunk. It doesn’t look like a nice Christmas tree bought on a farm or at a stand; it looks like we went into the woods and cut down a tree. It is a feral tree. I think of it as very masculine. It’s a Noble, but the kind with lots of space between the branches. We need to get more lights, more ornaments, and if ever a tree needed ribbon or tinsel or something, it is this tree.

But it’s got character.

This gives you an idea of the size. Donn is standing on a chair.

sigh…it’s a long story

We had to put the poor angel on the end of a broom to help her wing her way to the top

and the angel finally at rest, looking slightly alarmed

the final effect.