Saturday, November 28, 2009
"And you ask me what I want this year"
I love Christmas.
I love all things Christmas. I'm only interested in Thanksgiving as far as it starts the Christmas season, really. I was watching Elf Thursday night. I'm that person who wants to make December seem as Christmasy as possible. I sometimes get very emotional at candlelight Christmas Eve services. Calling Christmas break "winter break" is sort of a hot button issue with me. And I think every year my appreciation of Christmas grows.
This weekend has been incredibly Christmasy, even for my family. We've been Christmas cookie baking up a storm over here! By the end of the weekend, I think we will have baked at least six or seven different kinds of cookies. One of our batches yesterday made over 11 dozen cookies. That was just one type of cookie. The Butler women are intense when it comes to baking.
Today we went Christmas tree shopping. When I was a kid we always drove two hours upstate to some place with acres and acres of trees and each year a different member of the family was supposed to pick the tree. We joke that Mom picks every year. The tradition of going upstate morphed a little over recent years as my family got busier and moved a couple of times. Sometimes we didn't even get to a Christmas tree farm. A few years back we bought a tree on the sidewalk of Amsterdam Avenue the night before Christmas Eve. One incredibly misfortune year my parents went behind my back when they knew I hated fake trees and bought a fake tree and set it up while I was at work. Needless to say - worst. Christmas. ever.
Just kidding, Dad.
But seriously. Fake trees are an affront to Christmas.
We did not go to the Christmas tree farm of my childhood this year. We haven't been there for several years. It's a bit of a drive and apparently the pickings were getting slim. This year we went to a completely new tree farm. My mom called ahead to make sure they were open and they had a good selection of trees, etc. etc.
We should have suspected something when they said they also had a large selection of "Charlie Brown" trees.
When they told us that they had "thousands" of trees, they neglected to mention that half of them were still under six inches tall. I lobbied for one of the beautiful 15-footers, but we didn't bring our flatbed truck with us. The trees between these extremes were pretty bedraggled. And our family needs a sturdy tree. We have A LOT of ornaments. In the end we found one, a little sparse, a little misshapen, but a thousand times better than any artificial tree because of its ingrown imperfections. Fake trees are so perfect they look stupid. And really, is it more fun to drag your fake tree out of the attic and snap the pieces together or go on a mini road trip and stop for breakfast on the way and run around a Christmas tree trying to find the perfect tall skinny tree to fit behind the couch and in front of the windows?
Now, I have to figure out if I can hang any twinkle lights in my room and if this is a good year to suspend paper snowflakes from the ceiling again. Because yes, I'm twenty-three years old and still find 2nd grade paper decorations to be charming for Christmas.