Last night I went to bed hoping that the water surrounding my Christmas tree stand was due to sloppy watering and not a leak. I was thinking that somehow overnight the thing would fix itself, or I don’t know, behave like it ought to and hold the water as well as hold the tree.

But alas, this morning the tree stand’s well was dry as the Mojave Desert, surrounded by an oasis of leaked water. I had plastic under the stand that had saved some of my carpet, which gave me a brilliant idea. I could fold that plastic up around the tree stand, tie it off somehow, and not have to take my tree down to replace the stand!

I got on my stomach with some twine and started tucking the plastic up. The tree is fresh and full of sap, with very low branches. My hair stuck to the limbs like Contact paper. A small price to pay not to tear the tree down.

Once I was done tying, I poured a gallon of water in. It held! But slowly it ballooned out, and I needed to put another gallon in to actually have water in the tree well itself.  It worked!

I was so happy, until my husband called and explained to me why this could not be a permanent solution, and the tree had to come down. I cried and whimpered and pitched a big hissy fit, but in the end I knew he was right because if that plastic sprang a leak and it caused the carpet to mildew, I’d never hear the end of it. Although I could use some new carpet.

Then I had another brainstorm. If I laid the tree on its backside, the one with no lights or ornaments, I could take the bad tree stand off and put a brand new one on. Only problem was, I’d just poured two gallons of water in the plastic, and gravity was just chomping at the bit to get that water onto my carpet.

But wait! I knew how to siphon! I’ve got fish and I have to siphon out their tank. It’s disgusting but easy and I’m so talented that I’ve never had a problem with fishy water and my lips ever meeting.

I started siphoning the tree water out of the plastic; only it wasn’t as easy as the fish water. I think it’s got to do with Physics. The velocity of the H2O is directly proportional to E=MC2 divided by the cosine of the negative integer plus the length of the siphon tube minus the distance between the bucket and the tree stand. In layman’s words, the tree stand had to be higher than the bucket for it to work.

Not to be outsmarted by Physics, I sucked anyway, and it was some hard sucking, too. I was Hoovering that hose with concave jaws just to get a little trickle. Some of the tree water did get into my mouth and I swallowed it before I knew what happened – thank goodness I put sugar in it. I tried using a broiling pan to collect the water instead of the bucket and got way low on the floor to reduce the gravitational pull, and it worked! Better. But not great. Still, definite progress was being made. When I heard those gurgling sounds you hear when you’re sucking a milkshake through a straw and you’re getting close to the bottom, I took the plastic down and was able to sop all the remaining water up with a few towels.

Now it was time to tilt the tree down, which turned out to be pretty easy except for the awful sound of glass ornaments clinking together. The treetop angel got caught on a candleholder and looked like she was riding a broom. The little red bead garland slid off the tree like a Slinky heading down the stairs. It made kindof the same noise, too.

My husband had to go to six stores to find a decent tree stand, but we got that baby on, gently raised the tree, and I’m happy to say it only took me six more hours to get everything back in place. I exaggerate. It just seemed that long because many, many things needed fixing, and it would have taken that long if I hadn’t made a conscience decision to slip shod the whole thing together. I just don’t really give a flying Santa if it’s perfect at this point.

So if this is the first thing I’ve done for Christmas and had this outcome, what’s it going to be like when I do all the rest, like make homemade candy and maybe plan a party? I tell you what it will be like. It will all be fine. As long as I keep the lights down low, put a gift card in with the candy, and make sure my kids have an equal number of presents under the tree, it will be a fantastic Christmas.

One thing does worry me though. When I went to the restroom earlier, I could smell Christmas tree. You don’t think it was all that tree water I swallowed….