We have moved into the rest of our house, and it is wonderful. We’ve got these acres of floor that we can use for . . . you know, having floor out. And now that our living room and dining room are not being used for miscellaneous storage (and boy, in the time since we left college, has the amount of our miscellaneous grown by leaps and bounds), we have space for a Christmas tree.
So we went out yesterday to buy one. In my misty-eyed, enchanted view of the holidays, I always imagine going and cutting one, since that was what we did in my childhood. And once – after imagining the combination of Margaret and an axe – I have discarded that, I think that it would be great to go to a tree lot run by some local charitable organization. And then I look at them and realize that they are usually just off the side of the road, and at some point in the proceedings, Leo or I will be carrying a tree (and honestly, who am I kidding? Leo will be carrying a tree) and the other one of us will be carrying Ellie and Margaret will be completely wired because this is SO EXCITING A TREE A TREE A TREE I LIKE THIS ONE NO THIS ONE OR THIS ONE, and I will be nervous that she will dart into traffic.
And so because of this, we go to Home Depot, where the children can be strapped down, and the trees are neatly labeled by price.*
It’s not particularly good as far as memory-making goes, but although one remembers cutting oneself on the axe, I’m not completely clear that those are good memories.
Anyway, we went, and secured the small people in a cart.
Notice the bow in Ellie’s hair, which is our clever way of saying “I’m a girl. Don’t be distracted by my baseball hoodie.” Incidentally, that is the same hoodie seen on Margaret in this description of tree shopping at a similar age.
Anyway, once we went inside, we set Margaret free, which means that Ellie got to drive all on her own.
We selected a tree, and took it up to get it cut. Margaret and Leo watched.
Ellie kept driving.
And then they started the saw, and she did not know what to think.
But she decided that jazz hands were probably the way to go.
Anyway, we got our tree cut and bagged and went out to load it onto the top of the car, pausing only to deposit Margaret – unrestricted – into the basket of the cart.
Whoops. But her misbehavior amused Ellie, so that’s something. And she sat down eventually.
But the highlight of the whole thing for Margaret was getting to hang Miss Clavel from the branches.***
*I haven’t really recovered from the first year I went tree shopping in this
godforsaken evergreen wilderness pleasant Midwestern town and found a really lovely tree with a ribbon on it that meant it was $35, only to get to the paying place to find that what I thought was light blue was actually medium blue, and the tree really cost $80. Which is too much for a tree.**
**In my heart of hearts, I think that $35 is too much for a tree, which is why no one should be surprised to find that we got a 6-foot Scotch pine for $18.34.
***This actually sounds kind of grim, honestly. But it was just a penguin ornament.