It was another day full of tea and study today, this time with friends. I’ve been working to keep up with everything these last few weeks, and it felt like a relatively successful day of continuing to cram an insanely baffling amount of information into my brain. Tomorrow is my last exam of the semester before one last week of other coursework and then two beautiful weeks of rest. Family-filled, holiday seasoned, sitting at mom’s kitchen counter eating someone else’s food kind of REST. I can’t tell you how excited I am.
It hasn’t really felt much like Christmas around here, what with all the hard core studying and rain and generally warm weather. Also, there was the issue of the tree this year. Or, more accurately, the lack thereof.
Behold, last year’s glory:
You can just feel our living room bursting with Christmas cheer, can’t you? Jeremy and I were awfully proud of snagging this Scotch Pine at Home Depot for double the height and half the price of a tree we’d normally have. But in the end there were three problems with the Scotch:
1. It was shaped weird, so I took my everyday scissors and hacked away until it looked right. Which resulted in sap all over my hands, and my clothing where it still resides to this very day.
2. It didn’t smell, and everyone thought it was fake (Jeremy and I decided we’re pretty sure Scotch Pine needles are dyed). It smelled for about a half hour after I trimmed it, when the sap was still wet, but only if you stood pretty close to it. Isn’t the point of having a real tree the joy of coming home to the scent of fresh pine? And the respect of visitors to your house when they notice you’re a real tree family?
3. This sucker left SO MANY NEEDLES ALL THE WAY DOWN OUR BACK STAIRS. SO MANY. And despite many many many vacuumings, we had a significant quantity of lingering Scotch Pine needles at least through March, perhaps even April. Oh em gee.
I am the one who drives the Christmas tree train in our marriage thus far, and when Jeremy responded to my usual, “it’s November, man, let’s get a tree” by saying something along the lines of “you really want a real tree again? Remember the Scotch?” I had no words. All I could hear myself thinking was, what a gosh darn hassle that Scotch Pine turned out to be. Which made me reply to myself with, are you kidding me? Did you just call a REAL LIVE CHRISTMAS-SPIRITY CHRISTMAS TREE a HASSLE? How old ARE you, woman?
So ever since I had that conversation with myself, I’ve been dragging my feet on the whole tree thing. Jeremy suggested that we should get a fake tree, to which my response was, “we don’t have children or allergies. We have no excuse for a fake tree.” Which is funny, because I grew up with a fake tree, so you’d think I wouldn’t be so anti (although, to be fair, my parents had both children and allergies throughout my entire childhood).
I felt so torn. Did I want a fake tree? NO. Did I want a real tree? Um, not really. Did I want no tree at all? HECK NO! Who do you think I am, SCROOGE??? (Well, actually I did play Ebenezer Scrooge in our 6th grade class production of A Christmas Carol, to which I still have some of the lines memorized. But that’s another story.)
So here we are, December 11th, with no Christmas tree in our apartment. The only signs of Christmas in our apartment are the advent calendar my mom sent us in the mail (thanks, mom!!!) and my grandpa’s nativity (THANK YOU, grandpa!!!!! Mary, Joseph, and the wise men are slowly journeying through our house toward the empty-except-for-livestock stable).
Well, I’ve recently made an executive decision. This weekend (even perhaps this week!), when our exams are finished, we’re going to have an evening of holiday-prep festivities. We’ll compromise on the tree situation and spend too much money on a miniature tree, make Christmas toffee, hook the outdoor lights up, and watch a Bing Crosby classic. No matter that we’ll be out of town for Christmas. I think it will help us switch gears into relaxation for the holiday mode. And give me one last year or real tree-dom so that I can embrace the fake we will inevitably have next year.