I’d say that it couldn’t possibly be December already, but there is a huge tree filled with twinkling fairy lights tucked in the corner of my living room proving me wrong. Normally, we wouldn’t have a tree up quite this early. I’ve always chosen to not decorate for Christmas until after my daughters’ birthdays in the middle of the month. This year, however, is different. I wanted to be able to put our tree up when we were all together. Something that seems to be harder and harder to do as the years go by and my girls get older.
So the day after Thanksgiving, when many families head to a Christmas tree farm or perhaps a newly erected spot in a corner of some parking lot, we decided to put our tree up as well. KT cranked the holiday music up, while Shaun headed down to the garage and hauled our tree up. Our tree comes in three sections. We carefully pieced them all together, folded down the limbs and connected the pre-lit wires. We added in a couple squirts of pine-scented air freshener and after nearly half an hour of semi-hard labor we were rewarded with our beautiful tree.
I’ve been asked a zillion times why we don’t have a “real” tree. The most common answers to this question seem to be either not wanting to kill a tree for no real reason, or to avoid the mess of pine needles and sap.
I guess the answer to that question, for me, would have to be because of tradition. I grew up with a fake tree. It was always a ritual for my brother and I to sort the branches out by the faded out color painted on the ends of each branch, and to bring them to my father in the order he called for them. It was always frustrating, but there was a certain comfort feeling we were responsible for getting the tree to look just right. I think I just felt the need to recreate that for my own kids. Of course the fact that my parents gifted me with that ancient tree when I started my own family might have something to do with our choice.
The tree we have now is simple to put up. Our family is growing up and our tradition is changing. Little girls are delighted to spend the entire evening setting up and decorating a tree. Big girls (Ok…young adult women) not so much. It takes only moments to set this tree up, but that seems to be all that we need to carry on our family tradition.
I’m glad to see you again December.