Monday, December 5, 2011

O Christmas Tree

Dear Em,
I just love Christmastime, & Christmas trees are one of my favorite parts. The lights. The smell. The memories strung across the tree. Sigh.

I was so excited when your daddy & I got our first Christmas tree together in 2006. I come from an artificial tree family, & your daddy comes from a real tree family. Your daddy made it clear from the very beginning that we would NOT have a fake tree in our home. I was OK with that, but I made it very clear to your Daddy that when it comes to a tree, bigger is better.

Your daddy is 6'1"
Through the years, cutting down our trees & tying them onto the roof has been a comical experience. One year we accidentally tied all of our doors shut. We briefly thought of opening the windows & climbing in before we untied everything & retied the tree. One year we tied the doors open. It’s pretty clear that we’re not engineers.

The year before you were born, you kept me toasty warm in the absolutely frigid weather as we picked out our tree. With just 2 weeks before my due date, I was a little crampy as we walked up & down the tree farm. Approximately once every 30 seconds your daddy asked me if I was going into labor, looked towards the car, & estimated how long it would take him to sprint across the farm to reach the car.

Last year was such a special one: your very first Christmas & our first year picking out a Christmas tree with our little love. I knew it was going to be magical. As we drove up to the tree farm, your daddy guessed that I would take at least a million photographs…& I probably would have, but our magical experience suddenly turned sour.

You had just finished helping us pick out a tree. You were toddling around & exploring the magic of the tree farm. I turned my head for a second to check on Daddy as he sawed. It was then I heard the most sickening thud. I knew in a moment that things were not good. I rushed to you & picked you up just as you started to wail. You had tripped & your forehead had landed right in the middle of a tree stump. A bleeding cut ran down your forehead & a tennis ball sized bump immediately protruded from the middle if it.

See the awful gash? This was actually taken a week later. That bump was a horrible reminder of the un-magical & painful experience for the rest of the month.

This year we were slightly hesitant excited to pick out our perfect tree. We went the day after Thanksgiving, since Nonnie & Papi were still visiting. They’ve always had fake trees, & I thought it would be so much fun for them to share our Christmas tree tradition.

We bundled up in our coats & hats & scarves. Then we got there & remembered that it was 65 degrees. So, your nonnie carried our coats & hats & scarves as we walked the ENTIRE tree farm (& it’s big). For some reason this year, a lot of the trees were brown & it was super tough to find a tree that didn’t look like it was going to die as soon as we got it in our home. I mostly held you as we walked. Is it possible that you remembered last year's trauma? You were super uncomfortable if we weren't holding you in our arms or at least holding your hand (which was fine by me. I was NOT going to have a repeat of last year).

We found a tree that was acceptable, but certainly was not the perfect tree. As your daddy was mid saw with that tree, you & I continued to browse.

It was while your Daddy was sawing down the first tree that you & I found the most perfect tree. You exclaimed, “it’s beautiful!” We ran back to Daddy & told him this new one had to be our tree. Your daddy was slightly annoyed loved it too & agreed it was the perfect tree.

It was a big tree with a thick stump. You clapped & chanted, “Go Daddy! Cut down the tree!” as Daddy sawed (& sawed & sawed & Papi pushed & pushed).

It was such a special time to spend with Nonnie & Papi.

We got it home & realized the tree was too tall for our house & had to cut half a foot off of it (I never will learn). Nonnie put the lights on while you napped & you helped Nonnie put up the ornaments when you woke up (your papi had to take a nap too after helping Daddy carry our tree from the outskirts of the farm back to the car).

It brought tears to my eyes as you smiled & said “ooooooh” in awe of each special ornament that we have gotten throughout the years. Years ago I was doing the same thing with your Nonnie. It was such a magical experience to share, the five of us. The quiet twinkling of the lights, the sparkle of the ornaments, & the smell of pine fill our home now & remind me of a warm winter day when Daddy, Nonnie, Papi, you, & I found the perfect tree.

I love you so,

* Readers, do you have fun Christmas Tree traditions? *

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