For the past two years, because of the Tiny Terror, we’ve had a small artificial Christmas tree. I bought that little tree the year my mom died, only because my great nephew, who was two years old at the time, wanted to know why I didn’t have a tree in my house. I was living in my parents’ house still, going to grad school, trying to settle my mom’s estate with my sister (you can probably guess which one) fighting me tooth and nail because she wasn’t in charge. In tears, I called the Bear and said, “I don’t have a tree, I don’t have money for a tree, and Alex wants me to have a tree!”
At this point I should explain that out of all my nephews and nieces and great nephews and great nieces, there is one child who can do no wrong and for whom I would do absolutely anything, including hiding the body if it were ever necessary – and that child is Alex. (His brother runs a close second in my affections)
Bear said, because he’s always been my heart, “go buy a tree.” (From that day, he sent me money every week so I never had to worry again about draining my savings account paying estate bills that would later be reimbursed.)
That little tree moved to PA with me. We used it when Max was a puppy. We used it the year that no one wanted Christmas – I put it up Christmas Eve and took it down Christmas night. (I don’t want to remember that year, but it happened)
I love Christmas trees. I walk onto the lot where they’re for sale and I start to smile. Bear says I always end up with the first one I walk to, and he’s right, but I still have to go talk to all of them. They’re all different, some are happy but want a house with kids, some are happy and want to be with a single person, some are annoyed at being stuck with those other trees as if – AS IF! – they belong there. One will always shine and I know that’s the one. There will be light in my house because of it.
The Terror has so far ignored it. At first he was totally unsure – “what the HECK?” but he’s gotten used to it quickly. Tomorrow I may put some lights on. Lights make me happy. We’ll use the Dollar Store ornaments. If they break, it’s not a big deal. I haven’t used the ornaments my mother loved so since we got Max – first because, duh, puppy, and then because that dog had the fluffiest tale ever and he would sweep those things right off that tree. Breaking my mom’s ornaments would break my heart.
And so we bought a tree. And there was a ten dollar off coupon, so we bought a bell and a Christmas cactus for Momma Joan just because.
It’s starting to feel like Christmas in my house. And in my heart.