A real Charlie Brown tree

December 13, 2017


Leslie Anne Tarabella
Proof! Snow on the Gulf Coast!

I can freak out over a Christmas tree like no one else. Other things may get (literally) swept under the rug, but for some reason, my tree has to be perfect. I poke and fluff each branch daily up until about 11pm on December 24th to make sure it is the loveliest tree of all. But this year, something snapped and all I wanted was an imperfect, wobbly, lopsided Charlie Brown tree. Maybe I inhaled too much glitter to think straight or perhaps the fumes from spray painting magnolia leaves got to me, but all I knew was that I did not want another stiff, upside down-ice cream cone-looking tree that wasn’t even native to our area.


Maybe it was the nostalgia of my grandparent’s trees they chopped down themselves, usually a pine or cedar, or maybe it was just exhaustion from society always demanding perfection that made me recoil at the thought of a magazine-perfect tree.

Leslie Anne Tarabella
A little scrawny and bald in spots, but no doubt, relaxing and stress-free.

Even though I was confident in my seasonal rebellion, I worried my status as a member of the Committee for the Preservation of Loveliness would suffer as soon as they laid eyes on a less than perfect tree at my annual Christmas cookie soiree’, but who were they to judge? Half of them use a decorating service to put up their trees. I would cry if someone else decorated my tree because I look forward to it all year long.

You’d think it would be easy to find an ugly, scraggly tree, but actually, without a wintry forest of my own to traipse through in search of a natural-looking evergreen, I had to visit tree lots where all the offerings were perfectly trimmed-up triangles with branches so dense, ornaments could only perch on the tips.

I finally came across a cut-it-yourself field full of perfect trees Martha Stewart would love, but taking a chance, I asked the attendant if he had any ugly trees. He just laughed and said, “Come with me,” so I followed   Thanks for clicking Here to finish reading the story at AL.com.

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