Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches. When I was growing up in Virginia, I loved walking home through the scenic route, where I invariably would get lost and end up taking a wrong turn, but it was always with one purpose: to see a beautiful 30 foot tall Blue Spruce that made its home on an immaculate green lawn in Little Creek, not far from Meadowbrook Elementary School. The School is now closed down, but the tree I think is still there. Tall, beautiful, and regal, with fragrance galore.
So that was when I started falling in love with fir trees. Later, when we moved to jungle surrounded Panama and tropical Puerto Rico, we never lacked a fresh cut Christmas tree every season since the Army made sure there were always some to be purchased at a reasonable price. After my children grew up, I drifted away from buying a "live" tree because they were so outrageously priced at 45 and 60 dollars. Sometimes, I would end up snatching broken branches for impromptu festive decorations. Mostly though, I bought a Christmas wreath from one of the larger food warehouse stores in order to have the scent of pine. But I stuck to the familiar artificial tree.
This Christmas, for some reason, I was rebellious. I was tired of settling for a fake tree. I wanted to splurge. For the first time in many years, I finally got a real Christmas tree and for the unbelievable price of $19.95*. I know what you are thinking and the answer is no. No, it is not missing an arm or a leg! It is a plump little tree, 5 to 6 foot, and it smells like Christmas. It is adorable and looks just right where I set it.
Tomorrow will be dedicated to decorating it with a hot cup of cocoa and marshmallows. I will take a before and after so you can see I am telling the truth. It looks so good just as it is, but a tradition isn't a tradition, if you don't do it, is it?
*Where did I get this lovely tree? At Lowe's Hardware Store, at the corner of Alafaya and Lake Underhill. Thank you!