December: Christmas Going Down
Fruitcakes by That Guy! + Crashing Christmas Tree
Giggles: That Guy! Christmas Office Party
‘Tis the season… for my famous, holly, jolly FRUITCAKES!
More “That Guy!” toons at Culinary Cartoons.
Gab: Momma Got Crushed by the Christmas Tree
Just when I thought we avoided a holiday disaster by not frying a Thanksgiving turkey, here comes Christmas…
It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and Kev has just returned from dropping off Ross at the airport. He is making a pot of Red Cat Coffee, while Jordan and Courtney sleep in before our goodbye brunch of Birmingham Breadworks pastries, McEwen Grits, Stone Hollow eggs, Bistro V’s pumpkin cheesecake, and Bottega’s coconut pecan cake. Yet brunch plans for our leisurely brunch quickly go sideways.
Kev smiles as he winds the antique music box topped with feather tree, thankful the 12-foot “Billy Tree” is lit. He had wisely delegated this project to Courtney this year. Well played. Yesterday Ross and Katia unwound the lights for Courtney and Jordan who scaled the ladders. Not only are the lights aglow, so is the garland, and some ornaments got hung yesterday before the Iron Bowl. Like a before and after shot, he is surprised to see how many more ornaments I have added while he was on the airport run.
I had purposefully, put back boxes of our most treasured ornaments for me to hang myself. If anyone is going to break one it better be me. From my childhood trees, I have carefully hung golden candy canes, silver stars with ruby glass, along with Baby’s first Christmas ornaments of Jordan and Ross, my Aunt Celia’s collection of Christopher Radko, and our own vintage Radko and Mark Roberts. And as Silent Night plays, I cautiously hang Radko’s Wonderful World of Dr. Suess’ Grinch blown mercury glass ornament front and center. Every time I touch one of these treasures, I hold my breath. And breathe a sigh of relief once it is secured to a big branch. Next up is even more special, Radko’s first edition Heart of America, which symbolizes the unbreakable heart of the American spirit, and a tribute to every life lost on 9/11. Just as I reach to hang it, without warning and at full tilt the tree topples over me! “Aughhh!” Screaming and falling backward, I muster all my strength to push back on the tree, randomly grabbing branches. Yet I can’t stop the towering Frasier Fir’s downward momentum. It is falling on top of me and taking me down with it. Ironically as my knees buckle, The Grinch is in my face smirking at me. And all I can think of is saving the ornaments from breaking. Break me but not my ornaments! … But as our tree topper of Mark Roberts Present Fairy flies across the room, I go down!
Frantically racing over Kev grabs the thick, tall trunk and uproots it from me. Shell shocked, I crawl onto the ottoman. Looking for my dogs, I spot both a few steps away with Wyckie’s eyes popping out of his head, and Rudy crouching in fear. Suddenly my state of discombobulation is interrupted by “Go get Jordan!” Kev instructs. “I can’t keep holding up this tree.” Surprised the screams and crashing did not wake him already, I call his cell. No answer. I then climb the stairs calling his name, hoping to only wake him and not Courtney too. Finally, I had to knock on the door. He cracks the door looking confused and sleepy. “The tree fell on me, but I am okay, other than some scratches and broken nails. But Kev needs your help,” I explained. He dashes down the stairs and takes over propping the tree up, while Kev goes down next under the tree to fix it. But he cannot see anything broken or unscrewed, and the cables are still in place.
We have bought Billy Trees (the larger trees Billy Howell personally selects in the summer for each customer’s home) from Howell Christmas Trees for almost 30 years but have never had one fall. It is just after 7:00 a.m. I call Billy Howell’s cell. And Christmas miracle he answers and says he is on the way. As Kev and Jordan take turns holding up the tree, I remove the most precious ornaments that remain on the tree miraculously unbroken. Soon Billy arrives. And it is his turn to go down under the tree while Jordan holds it up and turns and moves it as directed. By this time, he is late to the tree lot and has customers with appointments waiting, with his phone ringing constantly. Undeterred, up and down Billy goes checking the tree from top to bottom, moving up the screws higher into the trunk, leaning the tree back, and moving it around, he shakes it trying to make it fall as Jordan holds it. And after an hour or more of Billy’s due diligence, he feels secure that it will not fall again.
Just as Billy is leaving Courtney comes down the stairs in disbelief, seeing all her work dismantled. She quietly begins to sweep the needles off the floor, restring the lights and weaving the garland around the prickly limbs. Next, she notices the fairy that she spent much time positioning and securing atop the tree lying across the room on the floor. At that moment, she saw the footprint of the fall. Climbing back up the ladder, she repositions him, and smiles.
Gourmet: Visit Birmingham Restaurants Inaugural Holiday Market!
Shop Locally Online: Cookbooks, Coffee, Food, Gift Certificates! The market helps local food and beverage vendors to share their products and services. And it helps foodies find the perfect gift locally online. Birmingham Restaurants Holiday Market will be open online annually from Black Friday until December 31, for those who procrastinate. Shop Holiday Market