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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Oh Tannenbaum

There is nothing more magical than New York City at Christmas!

On top of the already glittering city lights, there are billions of Christmas lights and window decorations  that fuel excitement and cheer, but you can see all of that on my Facebook (or in my next blog, depending on how pushy my mother is).

There are also Christmas complications that come with a city residence.

For instance, how does one get a full sized Christmas Tree from the corner tree stand into a tiny apartment on the second floor of an uptown building? Funny you should ask, because now I know.

My roommates asked a boy to help carry our tree to our apartment, so I thought I was going to miss out on the hassle... I was wrong.

I was at Bible Study on a Monday night, and when we got out at about 10, I texted my friend Katherine to see if she was finished with work.  She was wrapping things up and was about to pick a tree from the stand in front of her store. Apparently they have a deal that the Keihl's employees get free trees for letting the tree workers use their facilities. When Katherine asked me to help bring her tree home, I couldn't say no, so I met her at 66th and Columbus to pick out the perfect tree for her apartment.

Much to my dismay, she had already picked out her tree... A big tree... A big, 7 foot tree... A big, heavy, 7 foot tree... She had decided she could get a bigger tree this year since she had someone to help her bring it back... Great.

After they had wrapped up her tree and attached the stand, we finagled our tree into a decent carrying position and started trekking down the sidewalk. At this point, I had no idea where we were going, but I knew I was not about to carry this tree 2 miles to Katherine's apartment. I didn't think public transportation was an option. A taxi cab would have been expensive. And seriously, how could we fit this tree anywhere? Katherine had a plan though, and as we lugged our tree to the bus stop, people greeted us with "Merry Christmas" and lots of smiles.

When we propped our tree up at the bus stop, we got a few strange looks from some grumpy older men trying to get home. After a few minutes, a crowded bus pulled up to the curb and we started to gather our things. With a quick glance through the windows and a pretty intimidating glare from the driver, we knew there was no way our tree was going to make it past the front door. Fortunately, an empty bus was directly behind, and we pushed our way past the toll box. The unhappy driver told us to stay out of the way as much as possible, and we found a nice little seat where we could hold our tree upright and somewhat unobtrusively. The three other people on the bus stared for a few minutes, but eventually began telling stories of decorating their own trees. Our Grinch of a bus driver turned around to ask how far we were going, and when we responded with 103rd St, he asked why on earth we didn't get a tree further uptown at one of the stands near her apartment. Katherine explained that the tree was free, and our bus driver warmed up considerably and eventually started telling his own Christmas stories.

We had such a delightful ride! When we finally made it to 103rd and dragged the tree off the bus, our driver told us his bus had never smelled so good!

Carrying the tree down the street, up the stairs, and around the corner was another trick, but we made it happen. Katherine's apartment now looks lovely with the full tree in the corner.

Sometimes easy tasks like decorating for Christmas have added complications in this city. It's totally worth it though. It's Christmas time in the city, and I LOVE IT!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Peace be with you,
Lindsey Shea