Christmas MishapPosted: December 14, 2009
I think our house is haunted. Not necessarily any more so than other rectories — they’re all haunted by rectors past (or at least the rectors are). And I do aspire to haunting all of my successors in years to come. But on Saturday evening our Christmas tree came crashing down in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. And I blame a ghost.
This was the first time I’d experienced a tree doing a swan dive since I was six-years-old. In that case the cat was the culprit. She got tired of batting the low-hanging “fruit” and decided to climb up the tree to check out the view. This time it happened after midnight and, given the fact her dog bed was pushed half-way across the room, it evidently scared the bejesus out of Delilah. Bryna woke up with a start. Delilah ran upstairs. I slept through it. What I didn’t sleep through was Bryna insisting I go downstairs to investigate.
And what I encountered looked like a crime scene. The tree had fallen forward, water was all over the place, and broken ornaments were scattered on the hard wood floor. ‘Twas the nightmare before Christmas. Bryna was understandably emotional over the number of sentimental ornaments that were smashed. I was amazed at how many actually survived.
But then we got to work. We were still half a sleep and in shock but grateful the boys didn’t wake up to the horror. We placed the tree back in the stand — making sure it was even more secure this time — swept up the mess, mopped the floor, hung the surviving ornaments on the tree, and headed back upstairs. Bryna in her kerchief and I in my cap, we settled down for a long winter’s nap. Or at least we settled in for a few more hours before I had to get up for the 8:00 am Sunday morning service at St. John’s.
The moral of the story? Get a fake tree with an attachable stand. Or at least one of those really expensive new-fangled tree stands. Or maybe it was that as nice as all the Christmas trimmings and trappings may be, they’re all disposable compared to savoring the gift of the Savior with your family. Even when that Tiffany ornament you cherish bites the dust.
Now I just need to figure out which one of my predecessors to blame for the tree mishap. It certainly couldn’t be the current rector’s inability to properly secure the tree.