Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Christmas tree

The holiday season is in full swing around here these days. Our family has already celebrated American Thanksgiving, Canadian Thanksgiving and Thanksimas, a blend of Thanksgiving and Christmas that we’ve been celebrating with two other families here. We also recently attended our school’s annual Winterfest, with Royce performing in two of the three concerts that day, playing violin and singing a variety of English and German Christmas carols. Despite all that, we all know the season doesn’t really start until we get our tree.
We’ve had a bit of learning curve on the tree. In Hong Kong, we very easily ordered a tree from a local nursery. It was brought into out apartment and taken out of our apartment. The only effort was to make sure we were home during the scheduled delivery period. Once in the states and in Germany, we decided, for reasons that are no longer clear, to cut down our own tree. All three kids picked different trees for different reasons and compromise was hard to come by. We probably could have gotten through this if it weren’t for the bitter cold. Last year’s tree debate, outside in Germany’s brisk winter weather, was our last.
This year we walked to a Christmas tree lot on the other side of the river that runs behind our house. Truth be told, the walk through the farmer’s recently plowed under fields, over the icy Wurm River and up the small hill to the centuries old cemetery was just as lovely as a walk in the woods. We selected a tree.  There was debate of course but knowing we were minutes from home helped the adults get through it. The tree was shoved through a device that bundles the tree into a tight netted shape. Everyone was intrigued by this machine and opinions about the tree were forgotten. We hoisted the tree up and walked it home. The whole transaction was so easy that we even bought a wreath. The tree is not up yet but it is just outside our kitchen windows. We all check on it daily and somehow it’s very proximity is enough to get us in the spirit. It’s hard to imagine the excitement once it is actually in the house and decorated.