Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Bringing in the tree
For a long time after we moved to this country home, we trekked out into our woods in search of a Christmas tree. Every time, we came back with a 'Charlie Brown Christmas tree' - a tree with branches few and far between that drooped when we put ornaments on them. One year I said, this is it. I want a Christmas tree that is thick with branches, and ever since we have bought our tree from a local tree farm. Usually we just get them off the lot, but this year Tom went out and cut one down so it would be fresher and not drop its needles so quickly. The smell in the house is amazing. We always, always get a balsam fir. Isn't this the essence of Christmas in a way? We always put the tree in the same place. We always use the same kind of lights. We always bake the same kind of cookies. There is something so reassuring that come December, we can count on something being the same year after year. This is why the season is so sad for those who have had a serious change in their lives. The first Christmas after my father died, my mother put up white lights outside instead of colorful ones, and it nearly broke my heart: both the change and what it represented. Tom was just telling me last night that he remembers a Christmas coming home from college, and being so disappointed to find all new lights on the tree. I sometimes dream of just white lights or even no decorations and leaving the tree as it is in its simple beauty. But, no. Not at this stage of my life. I still want the comfort of the familiar, the timeless.