We recently purchased our Christmas tree. It was all trussed-up and anxious looking, but we had high hopes, and when we took it home and liberated it from its twine, it proved to be the tree equivalent of a pimply and emaciated twelve-year-old. It is sparse and spindly when it should be dense and luxuriant; it shrivels where it should proudly spread.
My father reminded me that this should remind me forcibly of the Christmases of my youth. Our trees were often waif-like unfortunates. We would argue over which side was the most defective so we could turn that side toward the wall. Often there was no least defective side and we just had to make do with a holiday vision of spectacular arboreal deformity.
I may never have a polished, self-respecting tree. (I am clearly beginning to build up to an unsolicited Christmas gift of ponderous insight and dubious value). No one has a truly stately and flawless tree. Or if they do, they also have a weight problem and parents on the verge of a divorce. Nobody has a Christmas that is not in some measure grim and disappointing. So no matter how bleak and joyless your Christmas ends up being, don't flatter yourself that you're interesting or singular. Someone, somewhere, is having a worse one.