Ted and I have been married 21 years, and this will be our first Christmas without a fresh-cut tree sitting in our den. Going out and cutting a tree became a tradition when we moved to the lake in 1995. Before that, we would go to a “tree lot” in Albany and buy a real tree, but that’s not nearly as much fun as cutting it yourself!
There’s a Christmas tree farm near us at the ri’vah, and I won’t ever forget when Ted and I went to cut one down the first time. We must have walked up and down 100 rows of trees until we (ok, ok – until I) found the perfect tree. Every year after that, it took a shorter and shorter amount of time to find Mr. Perfect Tree, but we still love having that fresher than fresh tree in our home for the holidays. The leyland cypress we always choose makes the house smell like Christmas from the moment it is carried through the front door until Ted carries it back out after New Year’s.
But this year that tradition has been changed for another “first” – we won’t be home for Christmas. Instead, we’re going to Julie and Matt’s in Arkansas to watch our grandchildren get up on Christmas morning and open their gifts from Santa Claus – we have never seen them do that, and that is just downright sad. Blake is spending Christmas at his dad’s, and Jason and Blair will be in Chattanooga with Blair’s family. So . . . off we go to Arkansas, where we’ll stay until the day after Christmas, then drive back to Atlanta for Christmas with my boys and Blair.
So . . . we decided not to have a big, fresh-cut tree this year. Ted went up into the attic this weekend and brought down three little “table-top” trees that I place around the house every year during the holidays, and I decorated those on Saturday. As I sit here typing, I’m looking out into the sunroom, where one of the trees is glowing brightly against the dark glass. And it is beautiful . . . not scented, not large . . . but beautiful – as is the one sitting on a table in the den, reflected against a mirror, and the one sitting on a small table in the window of the dining room, twinkling a merry greeting to anyone who drives by the house. And after all – isn’t it the lights that put the sparkle into our eyes at Christmas time?
Here’s a wonderful idea I found on Facebook this week. While we’re addressing our Christmas cards, let’s all send one here also: A Recovering American Soldier, c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20307-5001. If each of us sends one card, and we all pass this message on to others, just think how many cards will reach these wonderful, brave, and special soldiers who have sacrificed so much so that we can celebrate Christmas in the freedom of America. Note: These cards must be postmarked by December 10th, or they will be returned.
Happy Birthday to Larry Odum, whose surprise birthday party we attended Friday night. His wife, Becky, had told him they were having a Christmas party, but after everyone arrived, we all pulled out Birthday cards and sang “Happy Birthday”. Larry said he was “kinda suspicious” when the band pulled up in the driveway.
See you later on this week!