December 31, 2009

Go Big or Go Home

When my husband and I were first married we moved to Panorama Resort for the summer. My husband was hired to lead groups of tourists down the whitewater rapids in a rubber raft. He acquired a company t-shirt that said, "Go Big or Go Home" and I think, for him, that typifies his approach to life in general. Whatever he does, he gives it his all, whether that is working, playing soccer, cycling, or pestering his children into submission.

A few weeks ago, he and our two girls went out to get a Christmas tree. Several years ago we started going to the Christmas tree farm of some acquaintances, Fred and Betty, who also ran a beautiful bed and breakfast they had built. Fred was dedicated to his trees and we could always find a beautifully trimmed six or seven foot fir, enjoy free hot chocolate and a visit with their two friendly and enthusiastic English Setters. Two years ago, Fred and Betty retired and sold their place. The trees have been pretty much left to fend for themselves, but my husband still goes out there every December to tramp through the once orderly cultured woods and find a tree. I swear - every year our tree gets bigger, and this year was no exception. Our living room ceiling remains only eight feet high, so I'm not quite sure why the trees my husband brings home keep getting bigger. This year he and the girls found a beauty - a 15 foot tall fir, matching its girth with its height. After cutting the top seven feet off of it, they shoved it in the back of our van and brought it home. Of course the girls could not wait to tell me about it the minute they jumped out of the van. "Mom! Just wait till you see the size of our tree. It's HUGE!" Once apon a time I would have reacted in surprise and alarm at the size of the thing, but I have just accepted, over time, that somehow my husband will make the tree fit and it will be a thing of beauty. This year's tree, with it's top half gone and its sides pruned, had lost its con-ical appearance and gained a com-ical one. It was immediately christened 'The Christmas Bush', to the delight of all my children's friends who came to see it. I have to admit, it did look quite wonderful when decorated and showcased our twenty year collection of ornaments like no other tree we have ever had. Unfortunately, several days ago the trunk's cut sealed itself and the tree stopped taking in water. Its bushiness is drooping and its evergreen is fading. I'm afraid it will have to come down on New Year's Day - before it becomes a fire hazard.
The other part of Christmas my husband is equally passionate about is The Food. Every year he manages to make his signature nanaimo bars and coconut slice, but the rest is up to me (and my daughter, if she feels baker-ish) since he is so busy with the Christmas rush at the hotel where he works. Around the end of November, my husband looks at me with hope in his eyes and asks, "Are you making your Christmas cake this year?" My cake is an Australian version made with pounds of tropical nuts and fruit and literally drowned in rum. He also gets excited about the turkey basted with butter and white wine and loves to tell everyone the story about picking up the first turkey we ever ordered: meant to be 9 pounds but ended up being 9 kilograms - to be consumed by only he and I and our two very little boys.

So, in keeping with today's theme of celebrating the Season to its fullest, I will leave this year with my version of The Twelve Days of Christmas:

On the first day of Christmas my true love ate with me, a turkey with extra gravy.
On the second day of Christmas my true love ate with me, two mashed starches....
On the third day of Christmas my true love ate with me, three Aussie fruitcakes...
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love ate with me, four pounds of chocolate...
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love ate with me, five golden tarts....

And on and on it goes;
Where it stops?
Lent, I suppose!
Bring on those New Year's resolutions!
Happy New Year to all my family and friends, and to you in blogland.


  1. I LOVE the tree. It reminds me of one my sister had several years ago. We were sharing a house: I was up, she was down.

    She and her then boyfriend and now husband brought home a tree too big for the house. To make it fit, he cut off the TOP. The ceiling had 9 inch beams that hid the top of the tree in such a way that, from across the room, it looked like the tree continued upstairs.

    So, I took out my 4 foot fake tree and positioned it up stairs above hers. It was a good joke, to us anyway.

    Have a Happy New Year!!!!!

  2. Ah, since I got the dog the tree was looked at with that quizzical tilt of a Surveyor trained in the military Arts. You could see her odd orange/yellow/browny eyes narrow while she measured the trajectory necessary to clip one of the ornaments.
    I kinda miss it, but then I put the rain of lights(LEDs) outside along the roofline like some 'merican so I'm happy enough.

    Have a happy new year

  3. The "Christmas bush" could be the start of a new trend! And all I can say is just keep walking and then you won't have to worry about where all The Food is going. Have a great New Year!

  4. The Christmas bush is fantastic, and so must be the savory food, from the yummy descriptions. Sounds like you all had a warm, happy holiday. May it carry you boldly forward into 2010!

  5. Tracey, I told my girls about your continuous tree, and they thought it sounded great!

    Vince, Jess keeps you on your toes!

    Diane, I've actually been quite well behaved in regards to food, but when you are surrounded by it, and by people eating and eating you start to feel saturated!

    Dreamfarm Girl, we did have a wonderful holiday. It was incredibly mild here - I even had the kitchen door open for a couple of hours while I was cooking the turkey!

    All the best in 2010, everyone. Pretty soon I'll be watching for the Olympic torch as it makes its way through our community.

  6. Yup - lots of food, now lots of exercise and restraint I think. There's a mention for you over at my blog.

    Happy New Year.

  7. Oh, 4 pounds of chocolate is my favorite one!! Too bad I'm on a mission to lose some weight! Loved the photo of your tree, you're a good sport. It did turn out pretty though and I loved the idea to call it a Christmas Bush. Just might be a Christmas story there!

    Happy New Year to you!


I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!