Two years ago was mine and my husband’s first married Christmas together. His mother wanted us to save all of the pine needles from our first tree, and she was to put them in a fabulous and festive red velvet pouch for us so that we can put it under our tree for all the years to come. She still has hers, and puts it under her tree every year. A very lovely idea. Just one problem: my husband hates real trees. I tried to convince him to just suck it up for one year, but the only thing his obsessive-compulsive cleaning-disorder brain could think about sucking up were the billions of sappy pine needles that said tree would most definitely spew off of its branches and onto our floors. It also didn’t help that we were in a condo, had just recently moved from NY to Charlotte, and were still focused on getting settled. Needless to say, the real tree fell off of the priority list.
Fast-forward to this year, where we are in our first house together and have become a bit more sentimental. My husband agreed to “suck it up” for one year. “But just one year!” We’d put up two trees: a real and a fake. So, we headed to the local outdoor “tree mart” on a quest to find our first real tree. “Wow!” We exclaimed as we pulled up. “Look at all of em!” We’d find one in no time. Two minutes later we were navigating through a maze of trees, listening to festive music from the overhead speakers, dodging little kids playing hide-and-seek and families taking photos.
“This one looks great! What do you think?”
“Hmm, maybe not from this angle though. How about this one?”
“Looks a little too short. Ooh, what about this one?”
“Nah, it’s got that ‘middle finger’ branch. Remember I told you about my mom’s tree, that looked like it was giving us the finger?”
“Oh, right.” Sigh. picking out a tree was harder than we thought. But then finally, we found “the one”. Less than ten minutes later it was on our truck and we were on our way home with our exciting, real Christmas tree. We got it in the house and hoisted it into its stand, my husband being careful as ever (“Don’t let it hit the walls! No needles left behind!”). Once that was done we put up the fake tree, and decorated the two. Later, we lit our first fire in our fireplace and admired our work. “You know?” said my husband, “I noticed when I was vaccuuming that the fake tree shed more than the real tree.” I sighed, and took a nice big gulp of merlot.