In my world it is perfectly acceptable to erect a tree immediately following Halloween. Fuel up on candy corn and march off to the attic to lug down the yearly accoutrement. So I texted Kirsten, one of my housemates, in the beginning of November, asking when we could decorate the tree for the little grey house. I was met with a flurry of texts about "IT'S NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET" and "I LOVE CHRISTMAS BUT WE MUST NOT TAINT THANKSGIVING." I personally believe that a Christmas tree only enhances the beauty of the thankful season, but I acquiesced to Kirsten's request to wait until after Thanksgiving.
Lucky for me, Leeanna also conforms to the same Christmas/Thanksgiving meshing together that I do, so the fam tree (more about the fam in later posts I promise) was my first one to decorate this year! One Friday night we all gathered at home, fluffed the branches, and trimmed the hell out of that tree. It was beautiful. White lights intertwined with sparkling ornaments and a burlap bow on top with cascading ribbons down the sides. It was a masterpiece, but even more beautiful to me than the tree, was the way Leeanna and Joe made sure we all could set aside time to be there to participate in the activity as a family. They gave me a coffee mug this year on Christmas morning that reads "Friends become our chosen Family" and that fam of mine is the absolute embodiment of that.
The second Christmas tree I decorated was at Shari's house. Megan, Marshall, Tanner, Isaac, and I went over there to partake in crab pasta and fluff branches. I did not participate in any holiday cheer with Shari last year so it was definitely a new different. I think a pretty tree came out of the evening though.
The third tree was the one at the little grey house. We don't quite have all the same decorations and fancy trimmings that the other three trees had, but I've collected ornaments from all of my traveling so we put those on the tree and even though it looked a little naked, it's still my first tree ever in a home of my own.
And finally, the fourth tree resides at Tanner's home. I was honored to be invited to participate in their family gathering and loved cramming ornaments on the branches until there was no more space left. We strung extra lights and beads until every inch of that tree sparkled.
Christmas trees represent the center of love to me during the holiday season. It's where a family gathers on Christmas Day to show love through the language of giving. It's where my eyes always stray when I see one in a room. I'm drawn by the lights and the care with which each ornament was placed. To be invited to decorate the center of love in so many homes was to be A Very Lucky Girl.