This is my crew–my Homies–6 girls and a boy that I was able to recruit to help assemble my 12 foot tall Christmas Tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It is artificial, so I keep it in my basement for 11 months of the year to enjoy it for a little more than one month. I have built this same tree 18 times now. It is still in good shape, but it sure is a chore to put up. Over the years, this tree has been assembled by between 1 and 8 people. One person can build the tree in about 2 days, if all goes well. This year, eight people completed the job in five hours and 20 minutes. Our gang listened to current pop tunes as mood music to complete the project. Our favorite part was when we took a break to create a Mannequin Challenge Video while “Black Beatles” played in the background. Yeah, we were awesome! We do not start playing traditional Christmas Music until December.
Why does it take so long to put up a Christmas Tree? you might ask. Well, consider that there are 17 layers of branches that must be affixed to the center pole, one at a time. The tree is built from the bottom up. The lights go on layer by layer to get a uniform illumination. We have 30 strings of 100 lights, or 3,000 individual bulbs that complete the tree. The cords and their extensions need to be coordinated so that they do not overload the string and cause problems. After the tree is assembled and lit up, we begin placing the bulbs–all 3,000 of them. I learned the hard way that hanging 3,000 individual bulbs one at a time requires 3,000 placements. Now, we bundle them as triplets and only have to use 1,000 hangers–that’s a time saver! We use five different size gold glass bulbs to give the tree personality. Work smarter, not harder is what I always say. My wife tells everyone that this is the kind of tree that adorns all the homes on Soap Operas during the season. So, this is my Soap Opera Tree. When it is up and lit, it is one of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen in anyone’s home. Our guests marvel at this wonderful tree and insist on getting their pictures taken with it.
Once the tree is up, we put empty gift-wrapped boxes underneath it to give the illusion that Santa Clause has already arrived and thought very highly of our goodness over the past year. The tree is fake and the presents are too, but together, they are spectacular! The plan is to keep it up until the Sunday after New Years. New Years Day falls on a Sunday this year, so the following Sunday, January 8, is the targeted take-down-the-tree day. It would be great if I had 8 homies to help me do the job. It comes down a lot quicker than it goes up, so even if I fall short in my recruitment of helpers, this job will be a little bit easier. All we have to do is bundle the branches by layer and number them longest to shortest before we place them into a big tarp bag for storage. Each string of lights gets put into an individual plastic grocery bag. The ornaments are stacked into bins with each layer separated by bubble wrap. I think we can box up the ornaments and bag the tree in 2 hours or less. It is a big job, but it sure is fun when the room is filled with homies who just want to help, and have a little fun with Mr. Mike.