In the Hair There’s a Feeling of Christmas

If you want someone who will always give you the brutal, unvarnished truth, usually unsolicited – have a daughter.

Last week, I was the recipient of some harsh reality tidbits from my daughter when I put on social media a photo that was taken decades ago that featured me with my hair sculpted into a Christmas tree.

This work of a festive hair art was part of a fashion article for an Austin magazine way back in the day. Now, because I consider Christmas tree hair to be, if not iconic, then at the very least radiating the spirit of the season I have shared this photo several times over the years.

When I posted this picture again last week my 20-year-old daughter expressed concern that I was perhaps looking for attention (#desperate) because what almost 60-year-old woman doesn’t want to showcase a photo from her much younger years and then read the oh so flattering comments.

I scoffed at this and then decided to show her that this was indeed not the case because I was going to go Christmas tree hair 2.0. My locks would be full on Tannenbaum – again. A 30 years and counting update.

I texted my friend and hair stylist extraordinaire Kelly Neumer and asked her if she could make my hair into a Christmas tree. Without even inquiring why, which tells you a lot about our relationship, she immediately responded, “OMG love it!”

Several days later I was sitting in a salon chair watching my hair get reimagined as a Christmas tree. The key to this updo was wrapping my hair around a Styrofoam cone which led to statements like, “I’m going to shove this star ornament into the cone but tell me if I start hitting your brain.”

The end result was a masterpiece, a tour-de-force of hair artistry. My hair had been reimagined as a 16-inch Christmas tree. I couldn’t wait to get home where I was going to recreate the magazine picture from 1986.

As I very carefully slid into my car, disaster struck. I had lowered and scooted my seat back to accommodate the hair tree, but as I was opening my sunroof just a tad for more room the tree got wedged into the top of my car  rendering me immobile from the neck up.

Fortunately, I could reach my cell phone and I called my husband to rescue me. “Help,” I said, “ I’m in my car and I literally can’t move because my Christmas tree head is jammed into the roof.”

His reply was, “Can’t you just take it off?”

“You realize the tree is my head? So, no, I can’t take it off. Sure, we have a COVID vaccine but medical science hasn’t progressed to a painless, self-administered easy on and off head detachment.”

“Okay, okay,  calm down,” he said. “I’m coming but why does stuff like this always happen to you?”

“How long have we’ve known each other?” I asked extremely annoyed. “I think it’s more than 40 years so I don’t even know why this is even a question anymore at this point. Also, you need to please hurry because my neck is beginning to hurt.”

I finally got home by laying down in the back seat of my husband’s car to keep my Christmas tree hair intact. When I walked into my house with my majestic updo my children were concerned.

My son had one word, “Why?”

My daughter said, “You didn’t.”

My husband replied, “She did and she got her Christmas tree head stuck in her car. So, if you had that square on your mama drama bingo card congratulations you’re a winner.”

I ignored all of them because I was too engrossed gazing into a mirror at the wonder that was me and my most glorious Christmas tree hair.

Happy holidays 2020!


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