A Christmas Memory

(not my tree)

Tom and I had been dating for about six months when Christmas came along. We lived about an hour and a half away from each other – he was in Ypsilanti and I was in Kalamazoo.

One day in early December, he asked me if I wanted to get a Christmas tree. I said, “Sure!”, thinking we would go to Target and pick out a fake tree like we always had growing up – you know the one with the build up from all those years of spraying it with the can of fake snow.

(Does anyone else remember the can of fake spray snow? Tell me I’m not the only one

Back to the story.

He laughed and said, “No, not a fake tree, I’m talking about going out and getting a real tree.”

“A real tree?” I asked. “You mean like…we go out into the  woods somewhere, chop one down and drag it home?”

“Yeah!” he said. “What do you think?”

“Um, ok,” I said hesitantly as I envisioned the two of us sitting in a jail cell for chopping down a real Christmas tree. Imagine that call home to my parents…

Needless to say, we planned a day to go out and get a real tree.

One thing that was so very sweet – he wanted “our” tree to live in my apartment, since I’d never had one before. That very moment I started falling more in love with him.

So the rest of the story goes like this…here we are – two resolute perfectionists – stopping to look at every. single. tree. Three hours later, I repeat, THREE HOURS later, we were still trying to find “the one”.

I would say, “What about this one?” and he would say, “It’s too tall”.

“Too tall?” I would counter. “It’s perfect.”

To which he would say, “Kim, they look a lot smaller outside.” Point well taken.

Finally, well past the point where I could no longer feel my nose, fingers or toes, I said, “Let’s just take the Charlie Brown tree by the side of the road and call it a day.”

As I turned to walk away, there it was. The perfect tree.

We brought it back to my apartment and decorated it. The tree was beautiful, and so is the memory of that first Christmas we spent together.

This year marks our fourteenth year of going out on a snowy day in December to get a real Christmas tree. It’s a tradition in our family and it’s been especially sweet since our boys came along.

Son #2 makes snow angels, while son #1 eats his body weight in snow. I’m not exaggerating.

I pick out the tree with the biggest trunk for Tom to chop down and we drag it home, decorate it and stare at the bright tree nestled beside the crackling fire in the dimmed room as soft Christmas music plays in the background and a mug of hot chocolate is savored.

So now we’re off to get a real tree.

How about you? What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

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Published in: on December 11, 2010 at 9:15 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. […] A Christmas Memory […]

  2. […] a Christmas memory and what Christmas […]


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