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December 24, 2006

For the first time in a long time, we’ve got a Christmas tree up at our house. It’s the noble Presto-Pine, which we bought in 1988 (I looked it up in the photo album) because I was sad we weren’t going to have a tree that year. I knew it didn’t make sense to buy and decorate a big live tree like we had in the past given that we weren’t going to be home for Christmas, but I was still sad, so we went to the drugstore and bought this one and put it up (a not-at-all-involved 3-step process, one of which is “take it out of the box”) and I was happy again.

As time went by, I got less sentimental about Christmas (or more emotionally resilient or something) and it didn’t bother me to not have a tree if we were going to be traveling over the holiday, which we have done for the past I don’t know how many years and years (10? 12? More? I’m not sure, and I don’t want to get sidetracked by looking at that many photo albums to find out). But this year we’re staying home, and I wanted a tree. Not enough to put it up before yesterday, though, and not enough to rearrange the furniture to fit the big artificial tree into the living room (we bought that one after we moved into this house and had more storage space).

Though I have on occasion dabbled in the white lights and coordinated baubles school of tree decorating, mostly we are a colored lights and random ornaments family, and that’s what we’ve got this year. The lights are a set we bought at Walt Disney World years ago; they can burn solid or twinkle at various speeds, our choice. The ornaments are a selection from the ones we’ve collected over the years. It’s fun to pull them out and remember where we got each one—the fish I bought in Idaho the first time we visited, the pink glass teardrop that belonged to Grandma, the white ball with the columbine design on it from one of our December trips to ski Steamboat, the colorful plastic dinosaurs wearing festive clothing that I could not leave in the store, and on and on. It takes a while, even for a tree this small, but it’s fun. And when we’re done, we have something pretty to look at for a while.


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