Last Saturday, we went out to the wilds of Hamilton Mill road (a few miles from our home) and stalked our prey - the elusive Holiday Tree. Yule for me, Christmas for T. We slipped in and out of the trees in one particular lot, a place we've had success in the past, staring at the many trees and debating their merits. T likes tall and full, a tree that will dominate the living/dining room and stretch to touch the center peak of the room. I like a smaller tree, more demure, one that will nestle in the living room windows and welcome all who come to our home.
In years past, I have won out, but I felt bad that T always had to have a smaller tree, one that didn't quite do it for him. I always figured that, since I was the one lighting and decorating the things, I should have the final say. But that's selfish, and I'm OK with having the big tree in the middle of the room. We crept up on our wily prey and pounced, holding fast until our friend who runs the lot came and secured it, still wriggling, in a net for easy transport.
Once we had it home, the tree whisperer (that would be me) went to work, tightening it into the stand and coaxing it to stand tall and straight. I told it how much pleasure our family would take in having it here, and explained that I would plant something in the spring to make up for its cutting. It will go into the woods behind our house when the holidays are over, becoming habitat for any number of creatures.
It tilts a little to one side, but I don't mind - I usually look for a flawed tree - when I was a kid the Charlie Brown Christmas special made me cry, when no one wanted the poor little tree, and I've never been able to pass up a Charlie Brown tree since.
Once I got it lit, we all pitched in and decorated it. Bird had a blast, and there were plenty of non-breakables for him to hang - on one branch! There was some judicious rearranging after he went to bed.
It's so much more than a felled tree. It's a focus for happiness, fun, memories. Every ornament has a history, and we often talk about them as we hang them. It's a reminder of life in the depths of winter, of the days that will soon be growing by minutes into hours more light, and it will be the guardian of gifts carefully wrapped and kept in a glass cupboard until Christmas eve because cats like to eat ribbon and play with colorful paper, and left to their own devices the beasties would have everything unwrapped and well chewed (and vomited up or deposited in the litter box) in a day or two.
It's chaotic, off balance, and a perfect reflection of our family.
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.