A couple of decades ago when my children were still young Suzanne and I decided to save a few bucks and get a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, figuring that the dealers would be willing to sell at a big discount since their inventory would be worthless the next day.
Well, we drove all over Albany and Berkeley and Richmond and every tree dealer had nothing—not even some spindly thing.
I got back home feeling like a total failure as a father. Christmas with no tree! What a fuckup. I went to bed feeling terrible.
About 2 or 3 AM I popped awake with an idea—wall tree! I dashed into the living room and, with some tacks and a bundle of creativity, created a tree shape with the tinsel strings and hung the ornaments from it, then piled all the presents at the foot.
The kids loved it. Ever since then our family tradition has been to have a wall tree instead of setting up a fire hazard every year. The photo is of this year’s.