Even though I would have preferred to wait a week or so before Christmas tree shopping, schedules and the short supply required that we make a mad dash to the local (10 miles away) Christmas tree farm. Those searching for a tall tree know to arrive at the Rosebud Farm Thanksgiving day. We waited a couple of days, so there were only 20 large trees remaining. We chose a 9' Leland Cypress that was somewhat narrow at the bottom. Our tree is not as natural looking as we would like because the drought caused the trimmed branches not to regrow as quickly, but we like supporting the local farm.
In previous years I have been jealous of my older sister's Christmas tree. In fact, just yesterday my younger sister and I were trying to decide what it was that made the other sister's tree so beautiful. We talked about ornament type and placement, type of tree, and other somewhat intangible elements. We also talked about our jealousy. My older sister does not even have a tree, yet I know I will ultimately have tree envy.
Yesterday, I was excited to see and place some of the children's handmade ornaments. We have made something for the tree almost every year - bell wreaths, Tab can angels, construction paper Rudolphs, and glitter stars. They were also excited to see their special purchased ornaments my mother gives each grandchild. Then we unpacked older ornaments - an apple given to me by a student along time ago, a cat my sister sent when she lived in NYC, snowflakes and an egg my aunt made, silver balls from my first married Christmas, and a few ornaments from my childhood and my husband's Santa ball ornament made with one of those nylon thread covered balls. Once we finished decorating, the children and I sat down and looked. Of course, I was judging. We need bigger lights, more lights, and larger ornaments. I need to rearrange the ornaments. The tree is a little crooked. I can't help myself. Then, the children started oohing and ahing and pointing out their ornaments and their joy was contagious.
Our tree is beautiful, I just wasn't seeing it properly!