I love Christmas.
I love all of the hustle and bustle and fuss of Christmas. The lights, the cards, the shopping, the tree, I like it.
My adventures to get a tree are usually solo adventures. I borrow a van, I cruise tree lots, I make unsuspecting tree lot guys shake and twirl and fluff tree after tree after tree until I find the perfect one. Then I drive home, carry the tree in, set it up in the stand and decorate it all by myself. That’s the way it’s been for the majority of my adult life. Truthfully, I love it. I love the process and I love my tree, covered in multi-colored lights and ornaments I’ve been collecting since I was 13. It’s my TREE.
Last year, I didn’t have my own tree. I was living half with my mother and half with my boyfriend and both of them let me share their trees, but neither of them really belonged to me. It was also an odd year because I knew I was at a crossroads and that everything was about to change and SOMEHOW, the tree became a symbol of that, leading to a tiny nervous breakdown wherein there was sobbing and pitiful-ness and the muttering of something like, “I’m never going to have *my* tree again!”
At the time, I was sitting in my bf’s apartment, watching his 5-year old string lights and plastic ornaments on a scrawny fake tree. (I never said I was a rational woman. Everyone has their lapses. Besides, have you ever seen what it looks like when a 5-year old does the lights?)
This year, things are a lot different. Adam and I are now living together, my stuff is out of storage and I have a new home. A new life. Adam graciously tossed the plastic ornaments and offered up the fake tree to his ex for her to use. (I think maybe he understands about the Tree, even though it doesn’t really make sense to him… which is sorta nice ).
Still… I was nervous. Were we going to be able to merge over a decade of DIY single-girl Christmas tradition with those of the lost boys tribe? Were they going to like having a real tree when they kept asking to put together the fake one? Was I going to be able to let go of my anal-retentiveness concerning ornament placement?
This year, my tree became our tree.
Our First Tree.
* Adam carried that tree on his shoulder for the *entire* 15-minute walk home, UPHILL.
** Only two ornaments were harmed in the decorating of this tree and of those, only one of them made me cringe (but only a tiny bit!).
*** mention the stockings and get a beat-down.