The Highest Bough

Somewhere in the midst of the holiday social madness this week, we managed to find the time to get a Christmas tree. This is not our first Christmas tree as a married couple, nor is it our first Christmas tree in Los Angeles, but it *is* our first Christmas tree in the new house. It's a gorgeous noble fir, seven feet tall and it smells fantastic.

Kristen & the Tree

Last year was the first Christmas that we didn't spend with either my family or Vinny's family. Vinny spent the majority of December in post Katrina New Orleans, working on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and as you can imagine, New Orleans was not a very nice place to be at that point. While he was gone, I attended a Christmas Party at Hollywood Park and I won some cash! I took that money and used it to buy our Christmas tree. I wanted to surprise Vinny, and have the apartment decorated for Christmas, so that when he came home and walked in, it might be a little easier for him to feel as though he had left the sadness and devastation behind, even for a short while.

Here's the thing:

I remember going to the Christmas tree lot and picking out the tree. I remember paying for it and the nice guy who loaded it into the back of my car for me. I remember getting into my car and realizing that I couldn't see out the back window at all, and thus, driving extra slowly and taking back roads to get home.

What I don't remember is hoisting it out of my car and hauling it up the 4 flights of steps to the apartment. I know I did it by myself, and that it must have been a pain in the ass - but I have NO memory of doing this activity whatsoever.

If I think about it hard enough, I kiiiiind of remember this one neighbor being in the parking garage. His name was Mike. I don't know what his wife's name was, but we usually called them "Mike and Don't Hit Me Mike" due to her constant bellowing. Mike was tall and skinny and loped around in trucker hats with his scraggly hair peeking out. Don't Hit Me Mike was tall with a giant belly, matching scraggly hair, and could have crushed Mike with her bare hands. They were a class act. So it makes all kinds of sense that I wouldn't have asked him for help. You know, in that "I would rather wrestle this spiny, sappy tree up four flights of steep stairs than let you come into my apartment..."

Clearly I must have done just that - wrestled with an evergreen. On Christmas morning, I made beignets and we sat underneath that tree eating them while opening up our presents, a now *tradition* that we intend to continue this year under this tree.

Christmas Tree 2006 Pre-Ornaments