Friday 14 December 2012

The Story of our Christmas Tree

Steve and I got engaged on December 19, 2002.

The first thing that we did as we began planning our life together was buy a Christmas tree.

Yes, a Christmas tree.

Looking back this makes me laugh. Of all things that a newly engaged couple might buy, why did we buy a Christmas tree? Well, we were thrifty and knew we would be married by the next Christmas, so we figured why not get one on sale. This made perfect sense then (and it still does now); one could argue that in addition to being thrifty, we were incredibly logical as well.

The memory of buying our Christmas tree is very vivid for me. I remember that we went to White Rose and that the entire store smelled like very strong cinnamon potpourri. I remember that there were very few average sized trees left and that the one that we went home with cost $60 (what a deal!). I remember the boxes of bulbs that we also bought to hang on our tree when we celebrated our first married Christmas. And I remember that we ended our shopping trip by going for coffee, so happy together.

Our Christmas tree was the first thing we bought for our new life together and because of that it has always been symbolic for me. Each year when we pull this tree out of storage and set it up in the living room, I remember back to our beginning, how far we have come, and how many wonderful things that have happened.

We put this tree up in our first apartment which was upstairs from a chiropractor's office.

And in our first home.

And it was this tree that we anxiously decorated in 2006 when we were waiting for Bridget to be born. (She was due December 19 but was born on the 31st, and yes I was incredibly uncomfortable being that much overdue).

Now this tree is in our living room in the home we hope to never have to move from. Both the girls know exactly where it goes and what furniture needs to be moved out of the way to make room for the tree.

Over the years we have collected different bulbs and ornaments. The girls are so excited every year to put certain ornaments on the tree: the big golden star, Winnie the Pooh, Jessie (from Toy Story), the snowman family that has our names on it, and the small frames that hold pictures of them both from their first Christmases.

I have at times wished for a completely coordinated tree - one with matching ornaments, ribbons, and garland - but I can not go there.

The tree in our living room has been with us from the beginning and is a part of many wonderful and significant memories in our life. Looking at the tree and at specific ornaments reminds me of these times - the Story of our Christmas tree, the Story of Us.

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