Tradition was that we would pick out and and decorate our Christmas tree on the 14th of December. Because the 14th is our wedding anniversary, and we learned early on that the secret to long, and lasting connubial bliss is to begin each new year of marriage engaged in an heated argument! Oh, our intentions were always very good... And in theory, Christmas shopping, enjoying a quite dinner at our favorite restaurant on Cannery Row and stopping off for hot cocoa on our way to pick out a Christmas tree always sounded like the perfect recipe for a romantic anniversary... However, as well-intentioned as we always were, every anniversary still managed to end in massive disagreement.
Over what, you ask? Well, it always began at the tree lot where he'd do his best to convince me that the only Christmas tree that actually looks like a tree, is his favorite, the Douglas Fir. And, being the passionate hobby-gardener he's always been, I get it... But that never stopped me from refusing to go home with him unless I got my beloved Noble Fir that reminded me of Christmas trees in Germany... The ones with the exact level of Charlie Brown, (bareness) so that each ornament dangled, and where lit candles could stand on every branch. And, for almost two decades I was the happy victor of that particular debate!
However, when we got home is when the real disagreement began... Because he always felt that giving in at the tree lot obligated me to grant his wish for huge, multi-colored blinking lights... When everyone knows only tiny, clear lights belong on a Christmas tree!
Then we moved to North Carolina. And slowly our traditions have changed. First of all... No Noble Fir trees. Anywhere! They don't grow here. And apparently, they cannot be trucked or flown in either. There's still the Douglas Fir, much to his delight... But I just can't do it. So as much as it pains me every year... We put up an artificial tree. The only positives about the tree we chose is that it came pre-lit with tiny, clear lights and I can adjust (bend) the branches so that my ornaments dangle. But that's it...
Another tradition that's changed now is when our tree goes up... You see, Brandon
has topped our family Christmas trees since he was big enough for us to squish
the angel between his hands. But while he no longer has to be held up to the
tree to reach it, the Army now tells us when he'll be home to help decorate
Therefore, this is the second year our Christmas tree has
been put up and decorated long before our anniversary...
It is also the second year we face the holiday
season knowing our Ranger will deploy soon
So after we said good-bye to Brandon, I needed a little retail therapy...
I hit all my favorites... Le Creuset, Pottery Barn,
Williams-Sonoma and Sephora. And, I bought lots!
Because I just couldn't face his empty room again...
By the way... When I tried to pay Pottery Barn $60 for faux acorns to
fill my monogrammed hurricanes, the man I love begged me not to!
He said he knew where I could get even better acorns. For free!
He also offered to deliver!
True to his word... I came downstairs this morning to find a whole bucket of cute
little acorns he gathered for me, (for free!) from the forest in my own back yard!
What about you... How have your holiday traditions changed over the years?