Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

When I was a kid, we usually didn’t get our tree until just a few days before Christmas.

My dad enjoyed bargaining with the tree sellers, and he knew that the closer it was to Christmas, the more likely they would lower their price rather than be stuck with an unsold tree.

I remember feeling a bit sorry for the poor guys who were out in the cold all day as my dad got them to accept a lower price than they really wanted. The look on their faces was never happy even as my dad wished them a Merry Christmas.

But once we got the tree home, all that was forgotten. Putting up and decorating the tree is among my favorite childhood memories. It meant that Christmas, the greatest day of the year, would soon be here.

Now, with my own family, it is fun to relive the joy of decorating the tree. And we don’t make Kai wait until the last few days before Christmas to do it.

Still, we had not planned to get one this early. Last year, we got our tree on the second weekend in December. But Kai was excited after seeing all the Christmas trees on his field trip and said he wanted to go get one. And rather than make my son wait, we all happily went out on Friday afternoon to pick one out.

This year’s tree is a Balsam Fir. It looks bigger in our house than we thought it would.

Each year, Kai does more of the decorating. This year, he took all the ornaments out of the boxes and played with them until it was time to put them up. He then screwed in most of the lights and helped put the ornaments on the tree, even climbing the ladder to get to the higher places.

It was great to get the tree decorated.

Though once it was up, Kai’s thoughts turned to presents. He started talking endlessly about getting more Ugly Dolls, as they have been given regularly on recent birthdays, Christmases, and Hanukkahs.

I suppose it is natural for kids to have their wish list for the holidays. But as he talked more and more, he worked himself into a frenzy, saying that he wanted the Ugly Dolls now instead of waiting, and that he wanted ten instead of just one. Of course, we tried to teach him about patience and greed. Hopefully, he got our message. Or, it will be a long month.

But I like the smell of a real tree in our house. Nothing can put a damper on the holiday spirit when there’s a Christmas tree in your house.


  1. Actually, my son, for the first time...said he wanted a Christmas Tree. We had gotten one years ago, only to have him say that he didn't think it was special...that he would rather not have one.

    I don't know what had changed his mind this year...maybe the mountain air :)

    So... a Christmas Tree shopping we shall go!

  2. Interesting that your son didn't want one before. I"ll bet that he will enjoy having one. I wouldn't discount the effect of the mountains. I think a Christmas tree fits in better there than in a warm-weather climate.


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