Growing up, my parents would occasionally splurge on things. We took a couple trips to Disneyland; I remember shopping with my mom for a new sofa, but for the most part, my parents squeezed each penny.
To other suburban families, a Christmas tree stand was an inexpensive necessity, but to my parents, a tree stand was an unnecessary extravagance. Instead of a traditional stand, we had a coffee can. We never replaced the coffee can; the same one was used year after year.
“But,” you ask, “didn’t the weight of the tree tip over the can?”
That is an excellent question. Normally, a tree would tip over a can, but Ed Fallon had a fool-proof method for securing the tree–wire and nails. Dad would wrap wire around the tree trunk, make a small loop in the opposing end of the wire, and use that loop to hold a nail. He would then NAIL the wire to the floor and repeat this process with several more lengths of wire until the tree was tightly fastened down and unable to tip over the can.
“But, wait!” you exclaim. “You’re telling me he hammered nails into the floor every year?”
Yes, my followers, that is what I am telling you. If one pointed out that there may be other ways to hold a tree upright, my father would comment, “We have shag carpeting. You can’t see nail holes through shag carpeting.”
All of this is true; you couldn’t see the holes through the carpeting, but some years he miscalculated the distance and wire stretched halfway into the room. You had to be very careful where you stepped or the wire would trip you and slice into your shin.
Ah, holiday memories!