This year we bought our Christmas tree from one of the local high school baseball teams. We paid $25 less than we paid last year, got a bigger tree than we did last year, and they even delivered it to our front porch! So we got a bigger, better tree for less money and the money went to a good cause. Too say the least, I'm extremely pleased with our decision. The tree is currently standing bare in our living room and we are waiting for it to stretch out all it's arms and fall open before we cover it with lights and ornaments. It's absolutely HUGE. It's far taller and fuller than I expected it to be and it smells heavenly.
Last night as we were setting it up and listening to Christmas music and drinking eggnog I was reminded of a tradition from my childhood.
We never had a regular spot for the tree. It was placed in a different spot almost every year. I remember it in the front of the living room in front of the big double window. I remember it being in the back of the room, right by the door leading to the backyard. I remember picking out the branches by color (I don't ever remember having a real tree) and running them across the room so my dad could put them in the stand. I remember waiting
patiently impatiently as my dad strung on the lights and always begging to help (it's probably better that I wasn't allowed...) I remember the lights that blinked along to the Christmas tunes that came out of the little box at the bottom of the tree. Eventually those lights broke and we had to settle for regular lights - but my dad did get the box working so we could still hear the music. I remember hanging hundreds of ornaments. There were ornaments that my grandfather bought us with our names on them and ornaments my dad made in grade school that hung at the very top of the tree.
And every year, when the tree was finally decked out in enough ornaments to weigh down an elephant it was time for my favorite tradition. Every year we would beg and plead with our parents to let us sleep on the floor under the tree. My father always said no, sure that at some point in the night we would roll over and pull the tree down on us, killing us all. (We never did.) And every year my mother would convince him to let us sleep on the floor. So we all dragged our sleeping bags, pillows and stuffed animals down the stairs and picked out our spot on the floor. We would put our heads under the tree and turn on the box and listen to pingy Christmas tunes until we fell asleep. And one of my parents (probably my father) would come down after we were all asleep and turn off the lights and the music. I think of all our Christmas traditions, that was my favorite. There's something so peaceful about the soft glow of a Christmas tree.
I don't work tomorrow so I might stay up late and enjoy the Christmas tree - but I think I'll probably sleep in my bed - I'm a little too old to be sleeping on a hardwood floor. But perhaps when I have children I'll let them sleep under the tree and maybe they will love it as much as I did.
For now I just have to keep two kitties and a puppy away from the shiny ornaments... Only five more days until Judah gets here....
What are your Christmas traditions?