I'm a big, big fan of Christmas. Just thinking about it fills me so full of happy fuzz and warm bubbles that I want to explode. Christmas was two weeks ago, and it's taken me about this long to come to terms with the fact that it's over.
The holiday season is wrapped entirely in memories and family traditions and love, and when you're the most sentimental sad sack on the planet, as I am, it's understandable that one must grieve when it's over. So I'm still wearing my grief face. I've moved on from denial, anger and bargaining, and sit solidly in depression. I assume acceptance will come sometime around Halloween.
But don't worry, my beacon of light is knowing I now only have 50 weeks until next Christmas, not 52. The little things, people.
This Christmas was nothing short of wonderful. Though, to be honest, Christmas is always wonderful. Because it's Christmas. But there were so many aspects this year that, combined, turned it into something incredibly special. The holiday began for me this year when Travis and I ventured out to cut down our very own Christmas tree.
Let us back track.
I've only once in my life ever had a real tree. I was a kid. I don't have a lot of memories about it, but I've always loved the idea of traipsing into the woods to cut down a tree for Christmas. So when Travis mentioned the idea several weeks prior, I about fell out of my chair. He is much less the Christmas enthusiast than I (the yin to my yang, always), so the idea coming from his own mouth was pretty incredible. Cut down our very own Christmas tree? SOLD.
Fast-forward to Thanksgiving. The Day We Cut Down Our Very First Christmas Tree.
You know, I have an incredibly wild imagination, but in my memory, that particular day was the absolute most perfect, wonderful, beautiful winter day. Of course it was. It was the day I cut down my first Christmas tree. But really, just look at that photo. The sun was setting, the trees went on forever. It was perfect. Just perfect.
The tree farm was adorable and old-fashioned and served hot apple cider and had reindeer. I made friends with one, like you do. We grabbed our saw, grabbed each other's hand, and wandered to find our perfect fir. AND WE DID. We looked and looked and walked and examined, and when we found the one, it just happened. It was it. The tree. Our tree.
We chopped it right down, carried it away, and the whole process felt every bit as magical as it felt in my mind my whole life. And don't tell anyone, but I'm pretty sure Travis enjoyed every minute of it, like a regular Paul Bunyan. His tree wrangling skills are impressive. He's a natural. Made my heart grow three sizes. His grew at least half a size that day, I just know it.
Just like that, we had our own Christmas tree. Once in my apartment and decorated, it was beautiful. The best reminder of the best Christmas tree hunt in our very limited Christmas tree hunt history. It was a first for us both, which increases the sentimental value by at least 6 or 7 happy sighs. Maybe 8, let's be honest.
For the next month we got to enjoy the fruits of our tree procuring labor. It was a damn good month. Even now, as I stare at the vacant space in my living room where the tree used to stand, I get a little sad, wishing we could do it all over again. Is it weird to leave a tree standing in your living room until, like, July? I considered it. I did.
But alas, all Christmas trees must come to an end (nooooooooo). We took the tree down a week ago, pangs of guilt stabbing me in the feelings with every unhooked ornament. As a last sign of respect for our fallen friend, we stood him up tall in a snowbank on the curb. It almost looked like it belonged there. A lone fir tree on the side of the road. The last stand.
"Maybe it'll grow roots and we can cut it down again next year," Travis joked. I secretly wished it would happen.
The next morning I looked on sadly as I drove by the tree on the curb. Sometime overnight it had tipped over, and now laid in a pathetic pile on the snowbank, reaching toward the sidewalk. I'm pretty sure it just wanted to come back to us. You can't blame it, really, It had a pretty good life here, what with the pretty lights and things.
By the following morning, I expected our tree would be gone. I even braced myself for the moment I'd leave the parking lot and the snowbank would be empty, devoid of our fir friend. But no. Nope. The tree was not going down without a fight.
"Throwing me on the curb? Watch me sit right here in the middle of the sidewalk."
By the end of the day, the tree was in the street. By the next morning, it was still in the street, on the other side of the road. It straight up crossed the street. That tree, bless its wooden heart, was on a mission.
By the end of that third day, our tree was finally gone. I'm glad it went down with a fight. I'm also glad I have photographic evidence because that shit was pretty entertaining.
So thank you, tree, for giving our Christmas a place to start. And thanks to Travis for giving me the adventure. Christmas of 2013: success.
Appropriately, I pulled the following happy from the 365 Happies jar tonight from December 13, 2013: "Office Christmas party tonight. Wore my new dress."
Hope all your Christmases were merry and bright.