Today I was thinking about my grandparents Christmas tree. For as long as I could remember, My Grandma and Grandpa had this artificial tree. It was made all of plastic with plastic branches and needles.
I loved the shiny plastic ornaments and the big lights that would adorn the tree. It was always so exciting when they put their tree up.
Each year the poor tree became increasingly fragile, until one year Grandpa decided just to put up the top half of the tree which he stood on an end table in front of the window.
One year, my brother went and cut down live trees for some of our family and friends. While he was there, he cut one down for our grandparents.
When he brought the tree to their house, grandpa discovered that it was too tall for their living room.
He cut off the bottom of the tree to see if it would fit, but it was still too tall.
He cut off some of the very top branches, but it was still too tall.
Finally, he cut off some more from the bottom of the tree, this time above the very bottom branches.
Now he was faced with a new problem. The bottom branches were the ones that curved upward and filled in the shape of the tree. Without those branches, the tree looked quite scrawny and bare, so he cut the branches off the part of the tree that he had just removed, and nailed them back onto the tree.
This seemed to solve the problem, and he was able to put the tree in the tree stand and it fit perfectly in their living room.
My grandparents spent the next while decorating the tree. They hung the lights and the ornaments but when they got to the star they had a problem. With the top few branches missing, there wasn't a branch that stood straight up to hold the star.
Grandma went to the kitchen, got her wooden spoon and tied it, handle up, in the top of the tree. This held the star perfectly.
The tree looked beautiful, and unless you knew the story, you wouldn't have known about how the tree was held together.