Almost every year since I've had a substantial number of elves, I've dedicated a small tree to them.There's just one problem. Most elves don't want to be ornaments. This one does. See that little chenille loop at the front of his hat? That's for an ornament hanger. He's a good elf.
This elf doesn't want to be an ornament. He has a base rather than a hanger. He wants to hang out in forests and chop down evergreens. To him I say: Too bad. We all have stuff we'd rather not do during the holidays. If all you have to do is hang out with sparkly tinsel and a bunch of other elves for a month, count your blessings.
The naughty elves were not cooperative, however. I wrapped pipe cleaners around their base and wired them to the tree, and they would spin upside down. (I swear I could hear faint elfin laughter when this occurred.) Compounding the problem was the fact that the tree itself is a vintage one whose branches are weakening. The lower branches were drooping, even without the presence of a recalcitrant elf. I could get around the spinning elf problem by tightening the pipe cleaner (insert elfin squeals of protest here), but I could not get around the drooping branch problem. I got the tree decorated, and it looked ridiculous.
That's when I had a genius idea: Why not cut off the bottom of the tree? I would get rid of the lower tier of branches, which were the most problematic, and I would give the entire tree a better center of gravity.
(Insert here the sound of a buzz saw, flying elves landing with gentle thuds and the tinkling sound that glass balls make when they shatter.)
And here is where we realize that there is no way to avoid really stupid mistakes. Because if I'd thought this through, I'd never have decided it was a good idea to saw off the bottom eight inches of a tree after it was decorated. It was a spur of the moment idea, made in a moment of desperation. Those of us who are lucky confine our screw-ups to Christmas decorations.
And, in the end, my plan worked. I'm sure the elf who is currently being reattached to his pinecone body has a different perspective. I'm certain there might have been an easier way to achieve my goal. But it all worked out. Isn't it a pretty tree? You might want to agree with me. Because I am not someone to be trifled with when things don't go my way.
Just ask the elves.