Christmas is always a happy time around our home. It marks the religious aspects of our lives and offers the occasion to remember the past, contemplate the present, and dream about the future.
There is a different smell at Christmas time, inside and outside. All the smells are reminders of joy and happiness and friendship and love and gifts. Things given and things received. What can be better?
And of course there are the decorations. Our tradition includes a discussion about where and when we will acquire our Christmas tree. We always unanimously agree that this years tree will be better than last years because after we had the tree standing and decorated, numerous flaws became obvious. This year the tree would be perfect. However, as is our tradition, we always seek our tree in the dark. Why? I don't know, it just works out to be more convenient. Additionally, at that time of year it is normally bitter cold which enhances the pleasure of the task we are undertaking. Plus, in December the weather includes rain and/or snow which adds a delightful charm to our adventure.
I usually lead the way because I was raised in the country and can recognise a good tree faster than anyone else. My abilities are uncanny. In less then two or three minutes I can spot the perfect tree. Experience, however, has taught me that the time I just spent selecting the perfect tree was time wasted, because my choice is always vetoed. So now my position as lead scout has been relegated to that of bringing up the rear as the real decision makers in my family take the lead. If nothing else, the other members of my family are experienced shoppers. Experience they have acquired from years of visiting women's clothing and shoe stores. Naturally, every tree on the lot needs to touched, twisted, banged, sniffed, shaken (not stirred) and slapped. No test is overlooked. After twenty or thirty minutes of this, we are still no closer to finding our tree then when we first arrived. I begin to mumble at this point, asking if they are cold, wet, tired, or maybe hungry, or even done. They show no signs of being anywhere close to a decision or possibly giving up and coming back another day.
When the lot attendant finally says, "Sorry lady, you have seen them all", that is when I know that we are close to getting our tree.
All eyes turn to me. And I point to the tree I initially chose. That tree gets loaded and we head home to begin the joyful task of decorating it and noting the flaws.
I love Christmas.
I hope you do, too. Merry Christmas, everyone.