Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Meet William Howard

Here in the Wilcox home, we favor fat Christmas trees. No slender, elegant, lady-like trees for us, thankyouverymuch. We like 'em nice and round. The most devoted readers of this blog may dimly remember last year's tree, Chester, who was a perfect example of our favored shape. Wait, you don't remember? Well, here's his picture:
Chester the Tree
(If you don't remember Chester's appearance, you may also need reminding that each year we name our tree after an American president. That comes in again later in this post.)

I was speculating to my husband that the reason I love nice, fat trees is that they make me feel like I did when I was a little girl--that is, small by comparison. In a townhouse, there's only so much you can do with a tree as far as its height. A nine-footer just ain't gonna work. But volume can make up for that if you let it. And we let it.

So this Monday was, as usual, family day, and we had planned to get our Christmas tree. We opted, as usual, for the pre-cut, nursery route rather than the cut-your-own route. Got to the nursery, unloaded the kiddos, began to browse among the Frasier firs, which is what we've had the last several years. Except. This year all of the Frasiers just seemed so... skinny. Row after row of tall, straight, soldierly trees there were, but not a single plump and jolly one among them!

Well, down a few aisles we found the Douglas firs, which were the same price as the Frasiers and therefore okay to look at. Almost right away we found our tree. Niiiiice and round. Call the nursery guy to come take it off the stake, pay the lady at the register, drive home. Put Matthew to bed, get Meggers safely out of the way with a movie, bring the tree inside, and snip away the netting that restrained its boughs and its glory.


That is one... fat... tree.

"This thing is huge!"
"Was it this big at the nursery?"
"It really didn't seem this wide when it was outside."
"Well, I like it anyway; it's beautiful, and it smells fabulous."
"Yeah, I think I like this kind of tree more than what we've been getting."
"Me too. The needles are cool, and the color is richer, I think."
"This thing is enormous."

See for yourself:
BigTree 1
Now scroll back up and look at Chester and see how much less of the room he occupied. Yeah, this guy is bigger. I'd say he takes up almost a full quarter of our living room.

So when choosing a name for this tree, my mind went instantly to my 11th grade AP American History class. That's where I learned, from my outstanding (and outstandingly zany) teacher Mr. Kent, that William Howard Taft was our nation's most egregiously obese president. Seriously. The man once got stuck in the White House bath tub. I am not making that up.

And so, I would like to introduce all of you to our dear Christmas tree, William Howard. We are very fond of him. Of course, that doesn't stop my husband from saying things like, "All right, William Howard, now that you've taken over our home...".

Here are some pictures of our home's temporary centerpiece.

William Howard fully rigged out:
BigTree 2
(Dad Wilcox, you'll want to note the stuffed chicken sitting beneath William Howard--he comes out with the Christmas decorations every year and gives us a laugh or two.)

William Howard with Meg in front to give you some perspective (caption: "Mom and Dad, what were you thinking?):
BigTree 4

"Do you think black is slimming on me?" No, dear William Howard, you are still fat in the dark.
BigTree 3


michelle said...

hello wiliam howard, you make ornaments look like sprinkles.

Mama Whitney said...

we actually laughed so hard reading this we cried! you are such a great writer, cara!