Grateful for: A Live Christmas Tree (for reals)

Jake has been talking about buying a live Christmas tree for years. Our property could use a tree and he swore the stores sold big ones you could plant during the holidays. “Wouldn’t it be neat,”, he would say, “if every year we planted our Christmas tree?”

To this I would respond, “no way that would not be neat” as I imagined the rinky dink 3 feet ones they sell at the front of stores. Or the one at his grandparents house that leaks sap like it’s going out of style. No way were we doing that.

That and we’re not in the habit of spending on Christmas. Drive by our house with one strand of lights or ask our friends and family who have been the recipients of many a free pound of coffee and cheaply framed photos. We squeak past Christmas as frugally as we can in the name of survival.

So we dutifully get out our scraggly 5 foot fake pre-lit tree we bought when we first lived together. We put the same non-breakable ornaments on it and top it with a sad bow up top year after year.

Until this year.

After talking it over with our landscaper/neighbor, things got serious. He agreed with Jake, it would be a great idea to get a live tree and plant it. He liked the idea so much he even checked on trees for us. Thus began our scoping out of live trees. Over the course of a few weeks we drove past Home Depot to see if this mysterious tree Jake claimed to exist did in fact exist. We checked the nursery to no avail and then last weekend we drove by Home Depot again only to find the most perfect row of blue spruces for the job.

We went and bought one after putting the girls down for their naps. The next thing you know we were whipping up hot chocolate in our snowman mugs and arguing over proper light placement.

As we hung our sentimental ornaments collected over the years while Gwyneth put a Mickey ornament on and off no more than ten times and Norah fussed until she was held we reminisced. We remembered being college kids, frivolous newlyweds and then talked about how we became homeowners. We crooned over Gwyneth’s baby hand prints and got excited about  Norah’s handprint ornament we will add this season.

This blue spruce sitting in a bucket in my living room is a testament to how far we’ve come.  Our survival of the hardest of days, the beauty of the best of them and everything in between. It’s all packaged in this wonky tree that’s a little crooked, with lights strung haphazardly and so much bigger than anything we’ve ever had before. The cherry on top? There’s a perfect spot waiting for it in our front yard where it will provide much needed shade and privacy.

So, as admittedly as this is a superficial, glance around the room and say what you see type deal that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for the living Christmas tree and the story it tells.

Gwyneth tells me daily, “I love my Christmas tree” and I have to agree with her. I love it too.

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