One of my favourite parts of Christmas is the tree. I love the lights, the glow, the sparkle and the fragrance.
I’ve tried all sorts of trees over the years. Artificial: easy, tidy, always a good shape, no daily watering but no outdoorsy smell. (Scented candles help.) Pine: prickly, difficult to decorate, hands need recovery time after decorating is finished, smells great.
I’ve tried various real trees from tree lots and tree farms and roadsides and fields. Some dry out too quickly and needles fall before Christmas comes. Some were so fresh that the branches remained pliable after Christmas had passed.
The outdoors has a much higher ceiling than home; occasionally I’ve had to trim a few feet of tree to get it into the house. Some come so oddly shaped that the most creative cutting and sticking-in of additional branches couldn’t salvage them.
I’ve had trees that came with bird’s nests and mossy growths and trees that were so bad, there wasn’t any “good side”…and yet every tree has been special, when decorated.
There have been years with no tree or extremely small trees (the size of driveway markers) or birch trees or tiny ceramic trees.
Every tree has had redeeming features, and the soft glow that called for egg-nog and carols playing, and relaxed happiness.
One of my favourite parts of Christmas is the tree.