The various emotions and moods of the holiday season are interesting. The weeks prior to Christmas are usually filled with laughter and joy. People enjoy battling weather to light their homes into a winter wonderland. Families sing carols and enjoy each other’s fellowship as they decorate their homes and trees. Although there is much effort and energy exhausted during the events leading up to the holiday, there is typically a sense of peace, joy and happiness.
So why is it that this same level of enthusiasm does not exist, with our saying goodbye to the holidays? Decorating for the holidays is such a joy, but taking down the decorations can be such a chore. The best example of this emotional shift is the Christmas tree. Personally, I love bringing that perfect Christmas tree into our home (even the years that it seems to take hours to get the tree to stand straight). However taking down the tree, is the real chore – especially getting the tree out of the house.
A few years in a row, I had to do repairs to the door casing following the removal of the tree out of the house. Getting the tree in the house was not an issue. The tree was either netted or fresh enough to bend through the doorway without doing damage.
Needless to say after a few weeks in the house, the branches of the tree lost all flexibility resulting in the tree becoming a bit more challenging to squeeze through the doorway. My son and I varied our approach year to year (ranging from the strategic Pilates stretch and bend approach to the more popular 10-foot running start approach), but none were truly successful.
It became evident that if I truly wanted a different outcome I would need to try a bold new approach. Many approaches have been tried. All approaches have failed. The only true way to ensure the safety of the doorway was to reduce the width of the tree. What is the most efficient way to cut a tree? Yep….a chainsaw.
The numerous hours that I have spent each of the previous year’s filling, sanding and painting the door casing was not going to happen this year. The tree was slimmed down within five minutes. It was carried out the front door without as much as a scratch. No time will have to be wasted on the front doorway this year.
Unfortunately, my son and I appear to have under-estimated the “sap factor.” It was learned that much sap still exists in pine trees long after the trees appear to have dried out. In addition, a chainsaw evenly distributed the sap and wood fragments throughout a ten-foot radius. This was especially problematic given the fact that the living room was carpeted, the walls were textured, the drapes were silk and the couch was cloth. After many hours of cleaning, with many hours still to go, I found myself wishing that I was working on the doorway.
Often the decisions we make in life are based on achieving a specific objective or targeting a specific outcome of a specific situation. However, what is frequently overlooked is the residual impact or ripple effect that occurs based on one’s actions. Although there may be a resolution to the specific problem, additional problems (even of greater significance) can be created as a result of one’s actions. It is important to always fully consider all ramifications before acting too quickly.
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.