I promised a story about our former Christmas tree.
We adopted an artificial tree from my sister several years ago, and we enjoyed it very much. One year I asked Mikel to wrap lights around every branch so that there would be lots of twinkling white to reflect off the glass ornaments. He was a real trooper - he wound and rewound lights until every branch was covered. His arms were bloodied from the branches, but he managed to keep the cursing to a bare minimum. I was delighted with the results.
When it came time to put away the Christmas decorations, Mikel decided that he didn't want to repeat the lighting process, so he laid the tree on its side on the floor and wrapped it up with a white sheet and rope. I helped him carry it up to the attic to store until the next year. Something about it amused me, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Until the following December.
December came back around, and Mikel emerged from the attic with what looked like a shrouded corpse on his shoulder, ends bobbing as he descended the staircase. I was struck with a serious case of the giggles. It was the cadaver from that crazy movie Weekend at Bernie's! We took to calling the tree Bernie, and he resided in the attic for years, appearing like the Ghost of Christmas Presents.
Bernie began to go bald last year, leaving more needles on the carpet than any cut tree ever did. Unlike my favorite scene from the film, we didn't have a green plastic toupee to staple onto the top, so we lovingly set Bernie out at the curb in hopes he would find a new family to care for him. He did. We miss him and wish him well. His replacement came home in a box.