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Sunday, November 19, 2006

The End of the Bah-humbugs

All through my childhood our tree went up in the middle of December because my folks wanted my birthday to be special and separate from Christmas. It never seemed to be up long enough. There was always something magical about the tree. When I had children I started my own tradition of setting up the tree and decorating the day after Thanksgiving. BJ was my birthday gift one year and Bean my Christmas gift the next; there was no way we could wait until the 26th to put up the tree, where would Santa have put the presents?

For many years I had a large, beautiful artificial tree; one that you had to get close to to tell that it wasn't real. The tree has always been an important part of the season for me. I would fuss over it for the whole weekend to get it just right.

In 2002 we moved a couple of hours away and into a smaller home. Putting up that tree would have required moving furniture into storage. The kids were all still living here and I had a case of the bah-humbugs so I bought what I refer to as my Charlie Brown tree. There was never any doubt that it is an artificial tree. Many of my ornaments wouldn't fit and although I did a nice job with it I didn't fuss over it and was never happy with it. In 2004 we moved back home into an even smaller house. The first year I actually put the tree on top of the buffet. Standing on the buffet to decorate it was, um, interesting. It was late January before I forced myself to climb back up to take it down! Last year I moved the buffet, bent several of the branches up and stuffed it into the corner, my saddest looking tree ever and a lopsided room to boot; it partly blocked the bedroom doorway.

I thought I'd have to use that sad little tree again this year. I priced several of the narrow trees and they were budget breakers. Today I bought the tree shown here. It is very skinny and fits right where I want it. BJ and the boys were very, very unimpressed. No one will mistake it for real. But I can see potential. I spent a good amount of time today fluffing out the branches, already planning where certain ornaments should go. It looks funny standing there next to the Thanksgiving decorations. On Friday I'll get out the ornaments. It won't be my most beautiful tree ever but it will be beautiful because four years of the bah-humbugs are enough.

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