It was that time of the year, 1974. I was in the 7th grade, and my father gives me the order. The tree needed to be trimmed, and it was my job. Initially unfazed, I tackled the project with the goal of getting it done as fast as humanly possible.
My efforts were swiftly rejected. After a quick speech about the rational behind putting the lights on first and technical details about how to weave them inside the branches, I began again. This time more thorough, using everything in the box.
Over the course of a few days, I went a few more rounds with the tree never quite reaching the bar, but making small improvements over time. The situation became much less about my father’s approval and much more about a masterpiece that I was attempting to create…. a little more, a little less, symmetry, asymmetry, tinsel, no, colored, white, candy canes, maybe…
To this day I really value this process: Creating, tearing apart, rebuilding, questioning, and sticking with it.
Well, at this time of year, I always look forward to a good tree trimming.