Dennis and my holiday conflict had gone too fir!

The issue began in early December, when I told him we needed to get a tree. That revelation was met with silence.

Through the years, we’ve had this agreement; we would always have a ‘real’ tree. We were both committed to the principle that we wanted something real, and not fake. (My sister and I even had a long-standing contest as to who had the largest, fullest and best tree.)


Coincidental to Dennis and I ‘needling’ each other over this issue, two things happened. First, we watched the TV show ‘Shark Tank,’ where an entrepreneur sold one shark on his living tree concept. You order it online, they come, set it up, and later it can be planted in your yard. Dennis and I both liked the idea, but it obviously wasn’t available here. Second, my girlfriend brought over a lovely, small potted Christmas pine.


The sad truth is the conflict between Dennis and I evolved into a dead or alive issue. I resorted to catty behavior. I took the little potted plant downstairs, over-weighted it with two ornaments and put a Christmas apron around it. He didn’t see the humor in my actions. “Hey Dennis, we can all circle around it and sing, ‘oh Christmas plant, oh Christmas plant...’”

No response. A week later, I mentioned it again. “Dennis, we need to get a tree up and decorated.”

“So you want to buy a dead tree?” He asked, with obvious disdain.

“Well yes, I don’t see any alternative,” I answered. “We probably can’t get to a nursery and purchase a tree as large as we need.”

“You don’t need a big one, Dixie,” he lectured. “That’d be too hard to get in the house and way too expensive.”

“And your suggestion then is,” I asked, trying to contain my temper and not deforest him. “For Pete’s sake Dennis, we owned a lumber company before the newspaper. I’m making the leap, tree cutting was involved in that.”

“We sold lumber, not trees,” he retorted.

“We both know that argument isn’t going to get any truck, Mr. Green-come-lately.”

No response. Several more days passed by, with less than 10 days until Christmas, when our family was scheduled to arrive for the holidays.


“I’ve made an executive decision. I’m going to the tree lot and buy a tree. You can come with me or not.”

He gave me the barely-tolerating me sigh, and went with me to the tree lot, where I picked out the largest available. We barely got it stuffed it into the back of his vehicle. Once in the house and down the stairs, he asked me if I noticed the dead needles all over the carpet.

“All trees have a few spare needles,” I countered, as I vacuumed and swept the affected areas four times. While I capitulated and had him help me string the lights, I did get most of the ornaments on the tree myself.


Later that night we sat on the couch in front of the GORGEOUS tree.

“Now wasn’t this worth all of your carrying-on, Dennis?” I questioned, with a bit of some smug self-satisfaction.

“It is beautiful, “he offered, as we warmly-appreciated all of our children and grandchildren’s home-made ornaments from years past.

Finally, the holiday spirit had touched his heart! I scooted closer to him on the couch. This was working out just as I planned.

“But it’s still dead, does that bring out the holiday spirit in you Dixie?”

“You’re a sap, Dennis!”