Friday, December 21, 2012

love letters

Dear Em,

"I love Christmas so much. It is important to find a tree with a wonderful aroma. (That's a fancy word for smell.) I think bigger is always better. But my dad says we must compromise. That means we end up with the tree my mom wants."

You love Fancy Nancy, & we've been reading her Christmas book ALL YEAR LONG. I can't help but smile when I read the words above, because that's exactly how it works in our family too. I grew up with a fake Christmas tree, but your Daddy wants you to have the whole picking out the Christmas tree experience. To me, that just means picking out a perfect (perfectly big) Christmas tree each & every year, & every year we've gone home with the tree I've picked.

When the time came to pick out our tree this year, we bundled up, & headed to Shartner Farm. When it comes to Christmas trees, I have to agree with Fancy Nancy: Bigger Is Better! You couldn't disagree more. You're obsessed with Baby everything. As we walked by the tiny trees that have just begun growing, you gasped. "Baby trees!!! Can we have this tree for our house?!" You hugged one of the tiny trees & looked at it with love in your eyes. There's no freaking way. We wouldn't even fit a tenth of our ornaments on the tiny trees you fell in love with. I took a picture of you in the midst of your beloved trees, & tried to distract you with bigger, fuller trees.

When I found our perfect tree, a tree that was much taler than Daddy, you looked at it & scrunched up your nose. "I DO NOT like THAT tree," you said with emphasis. I think Daddy was in agreement with you as he sawed the monstrous thing down. It was too big & fat & heavy for us to carry back to our car, & we had to ask a nice man who worked at Shartner Farm to bring it back on his truck. 

Once the tree was strapped on top of our car, you had mostly forgotten your disappointment in the big tree. You were bubbling with energy. You requested "Jingle Bells" on repeat during the ride home. I have a Rat Pack version. Sammy Davis Jr. shouts "Everybody!" just before the chorus, and you take that request very seriously. "Mommy, Daddy, you aren't singing. You have to sing, because he said everybody!" you sternly instruct us. For sure there was laughing & singing all the way.

We were in luck, our tree does have a wonderful aroma. Last year your Nonnie taught me a great way to fill the whole house with the Christmasy scent & add natural decoration to our home. Before bringing it in, Daddy clipped off some of the bottom branches. I used the branches to fill vases that I place all around the house. I love how pretty it is, & I love that we can still smell our tree no matter where in the house we are.

Once the tree was in the house, the reality of how big & fat it is set in. In fact the tree was a little too tall for our house. After making a big tree mark across our ceiling, we had to trim the top down. Daddy was not thrilled. Whoops.

After some major trimming of the tree, it fit beautifully. We're so lucky to have the most adorable little elf to help decorate the tree. You took your duty very seriously. "OMG! BEST DAY EVER!" you exclaimed as you wore your reindeer antlers (you tried to dress our cat, Charlie, up in them as well) & placed the non-breakable ornaments on the bottom branches. Your face was so precious as I unwrapped my Strawberry Shortcake & Minnie Mouse ornaments from when I was a child. It's amazing how much has changed since I was little like you but how much is still the same. A Strawberry Shortcake & Minnie Mouse ornament can still make a little girl smile.

I have to agree. It was the best day & is the best tree ever.

I love you so,

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