Every time I look at our Christmas tree, I marvel at our good fortune. Selecting, positioning and decorating the tree has often been a source of joy, but also great frustration, cursing, and financial distress.
In the back of my mind, I worried this year's tree selection would be especially difficult because it's Cami's first Christmas. THE TREE MUST BE PERFECT. Not that she'd remember. Not that she'd care. But that wasn't the point.
We went to the Lions Club lot at Daffin Park like usual. Normally, I need to look at every tree in our price range before knowing which one belongs to us. But it was getting late and dangerously close to Cami's bedtime. We looked at a couple of trees, and I could tell Lee was not in the mood to study the molecular structure of each one before making a decision. I took a breath, and picked one, feeling uneasy at the swiftness of it all.
When we got home, it fit perfectly into the tree stand. We didn't even have to lean it a little this way - no a little bit that way. It wasn't too big or too small for the space, and the one scrawny side was hidden expertly in the corner. We plugged in the lights - beautiful. It really is a beautiful tree.
Lee held Camille up next to its branches, and although she grabbed a few prickly needles, she seemed unimpressed. But I got goose bumps thinking about a few Christmases from now, when the sight of that tree will send her into gleeful hysterics. I loved Christmas as a child, and I hope she will too.
Aside from the gorgeous tree and the garland wrapped around our staircase hand rail, it doesn't feel a lot like Christmas in Savannah. The temps have been in the 70s for a while, and we're still comfortable in short sleeves. So I was delighted when Lee, Cami and I traveled from Athens (where I was in a conference) to see my folks in Tennessee last week and it started snowing. We stopped at a rest area for a break, and the flurries started floating down. I don't know what it is about snow, but it makes me feel like I'm 6 again. I want to throw snowballs and make snow angels.
A little further down the road, the snow started falling hard. Just as we eased onto the interstate, it began accumulating, and soon, we couldn't see the lane markings. We passed the snow plow, which meant no salted or plowed roads ahead.
Thankfully, we had taken Lee's X-Terra, but even it was sliding around until we put it in 4-wheel drive. The trip took a lot longer than it should have, but I really did enjoy seeing the snow.
Once safely at my parents' house, it was great to spend time with the whole family. Camille was spoiled rotten, and by the time the gift-giving ended, she'd become an expert at unwrapping gifts.
We took her to a mall for her first Santa visit. I wondered if it would scare her, but she barely gave the strange, bearded man a second glance. She even smiled for the camera.
It started with a wonderful, too-easy-to-be-believed tree, and has continued to progress into a great holiday already. And we still have 11 days to go!