Choosing a Christmas tree in the past has always been about finding the perfect tree. Height is important … tall, but not too tall. We need room for the star on the top without hitting the ceiling. Full, but not so bushy that it stands 5 feet out from the wall. Shape is important … it needs to looks like the perfect triangular, evergreen Christmas tree. Those were the main criteria and we maintained a high standard. This year, however, was a bit different.
Lin and I were alone picking out the tree. It was cold and raw. Lin has just had foot surgery and is still in a walking cast. As we were perusing the tree inventory at the Christmas tree lot and shivering, I thought about getting it up the stairs and into her house. The weight of the Christmas tree all of a sudden became important. We traipsed around the lot lifting trees. If we couldn't lift it up in the lot, chances were we'd be pretty challenged getting it up the stairs, into the house and into the tree stand. We looked at trunk size … those big, thick trunks were weighty. We didn't want a Charlie Brown tree, but we needed to be able to get it into the house without risking a hernia or hiring a crane. This is kind of reminiscent of measuring a turkey in the supermarket before buying it to ensure I can fit it into the galley stove.
The cold was a definite incentive for making a quick decision. “That one!” Lin pointed at one that seemed perfect. It looked fine AND I could lift it by myself. To prove it, I toted it down the walking path and plopped it before a smiling lot attendant who trussed it up and tied it to the roof of the car.
I'm pleased to report, we got it into the house and into the stand without drama. I hauled the boxes of lights and ornaments up from the basement. Christmas music was playing and we were singing along … off-key and loud … an art we've mastered through the years. We were sipping hot apple cider laced with a wee bit of rum. We decorated slowly. There was no rush. There was a story associated with each ornament, a memory remembered, a family anecdote to be retold. Let the Christmas season begin.