I am a sentimental girl, and Christmastime brings out all of the nostalgia in me. I love traditions, old and new. In our family, we don’t begin the festivities until the turkey has been carved and Thanksgiving has passed…but then it’s a free for all! Twinkly lights and classic music and glittery garland and an explosion of red, green, silver, and gold. Last year, we traveled for much of December and got a late start to our Christmas fun. So this year, in all of my preggo mama emo-ness, I was anxious to get the ball rolling. And that starts with the tree.
Do you name your Christmas tree? Somehow, John and I started that tradition years ago and have enjoyed the likes of Herman, Sherman, Stewart, Big Bertha, and Boris (plus Little Herman, a gift from John’s mom who joins us every year).
We always get a real tree, which is honestly always a bit of a pain in the booty. Dragging it from the truck to the house, getting it up a flight of stairs into position, straightening it more than once because something just wasn’t right from a certain angle, pine needles EVERYWHERE. But I couldn’t imagine the season without that glorious earthy smell of pine in the house.
Since moving to Park City a few years ago, we get our tree from the Park City Nursery. It’s not cheap, that’s for sure, but it’s magical. We wander through groves of every size, shape, and breed of tree you could want, pausing to warm our hands over a fire blazing in a barrel. It’s inevitably crowded with entire families weaving through the trees for The One. Every now and then, you’ll hear someone shout, “I found it!” There’s a little shack covered in wreaths that is warmed by a pot-bellied stove and is stuffed full of candles and ornaments and décor. It’s always hectic and bustling and I love it. I can’t wait to bring our kiddies there!
Our trees seem to be getting bigger and bigger, perhaps due to our super-high ceilings in this house. The first year in Park City, Stewart was a long and lanky tree but didn’t have enough branches to hold our ornaments. The following two years, we underestimated the size of the trees we selected (and perhaps our strength) and seriously struggled to get Big Bertha and her cousin, Boris, up the stairs- and then their trunks were too thick for the tree stand. Oops. This year, with a 7-month baby bump to factor into the mix, John wanted to be sure he could manhandle the tree on his own before we left the tree lot. We wandered through the fragrant groves, scrutinizing girth and height and weight. We paused for a baby bump photo shoot, also scrutinizing girth and height and weight. Our first piney pick was too big (shocker) but we found a lovely runner-up, coming in at over 8 feet and nice and bushy, but light enough for John to lift. Bingo!
Doris’s name didn’t come to us until we had her securely in the tree stand in the living room. She’s a slightly more petite version of last year’s Boris. We decided put her near the stairs instead of the corner so we could enjoy our neighbor’s giant blue tree lights and Doris at the same time. What I love most about Doris are her imperfections. She has some wonky branches along the bottom and isn’t really symmetrical from any angle. There’s an odd thick branch cut-out near her top and at one point we expected a squirrel to come jumping out of her branches. But as my own body has morphed and changed into something wonky and asymmetrical, only vaguely recognizable, I find her quirks to be charming and beautiful. See? EMO.
We played classic Christmas music as we John toted box after box of décor up from the garage. He’d be leaving on a business trip the next day and decorating the whole house- or even just the tree- was just not in the cards. I tapped in to my “stress less” goal for the season and let my expectations relax. We settled on getting Doris covered in lights before calling it a night, having leftover pasta for dinner, and watching one of our favorite Christmas classics before bed.
Something about the day jump-started the holidays for us both. This week, I’ve been enjoying adding bits of festive joy around the house and by this weekend, Doris will be showing off our beloved ornaments. What a perfect beginning to this special season! Ho ho ho!