Kid away at school and therefore kind of out of the house suggested skipping the tree. I called an emergency family meeting and husband declared to be indifferent. One kid almost in tears, myself crumbling by the sheer thought of Christmas without a tree. I have certain rationale, but that went too far. Yes we would be traveling and yes, we would not enjoy a tree very long. I suggested a faux tree.... One kid almost in tears again. Husband still on the edge. Kid home from school still fully committed to no tree.
So I decided to branch out and get a tree. Alone if need be. Asked if kid in tears was ready to join, but got a no. The fun would only be had if we all would go. Oh, well. So off I drove alone, a tight knot in my throat, going to our traditional tree hunting place and in bitter cold wind made the tree guy unwrap tree after tree to get the right one. My eyes watered. Finally I decided on a lovely Fraser fir tree. Six feet, full and pretty to look at. Alone I went to pay and alone I helped the young man get the tree onto the roof of the car. Alone I put it in the garage and went inside, where husband read the papers. You've got a tree, he asked. Yep, I answered, it's in the garage.
Next afternoon he had carried the tree inside and I started the lights and ribbons. Slowly not so small kids trundled in and asked to help. Kid home from school found Christmas music on youtube and kid two delighted in memories with every unpacked ornament. The tree stood finally in all its glory and there was peaceful silence. Happy with the tree, I asked kid home from school. Sure, she answered, wouldn't be Christmas without it.