We always get a freshly cut one and I don't like the needles falling off and ending up all over the floor. Plus, there's a rule I have of One Holiday at a Time. For example, I can't stand hearing Christmas music while I am shopping for my turkey and cranberries.
I can take this idea to the extreme. Last year, we didn't put the tree up until the weekend before Christmas. The needles fell of the branches and ended up on the floor anyway. Because none of the trees are freshly cut, my husband says. They probably cut them months ago, so who cares if we buy the thing in November.
He's right, I know. But it was weird last night tromping around the Christmas tree lot. It's been rainy lately. Warm. The ground was muddy. The place where we always go is run by a Boy Scout troop and the little boys helping us were wearing mud-spattered boots. Usually we spend more time choosing. Circling trees to examine them from every angle. Last night, our daughter, home from college for a few days, pointed at one, and we called it a night.
She teased me about not having any Christmas spirit. It's November, I tell her. Our fridge is full of Thanksgiving leftovers. We still need to rake the yard.
Mom, she says, rolling her eyes.
We haul the tubs of decorations up from the basement. Is it just me or was it only a few weeks ago I was packing up these tubs, putting them away? Where did the time go?
My grouchiness gives way to nostalgia. Picking out the tree with one child in our arms. And then with two. The years we drove out to a tree farm and cut our own tree. The homemade decorations, beaded gluey things and dried macaroni. The family pictures taken in front of the tree with someone inevitably breaking down and/or having a silly fit. The obligatory annual watching of It's a Wonderful Life.
But I don't want to spiral down that nostalgia tunnel. For one more day we've got our daughter home. It's sunny outside and the leaves need raking, but we'll worry about them next weekend.
Today, we're eating Thanksgiving leftovers and decorating the tree.