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O Christmas Tree

December 24, 2010

Even though I have a Jewish surname, I grew up in the Christian faith.  Specifically, I was baptized a Presbyterian, which is as lightweight as you can get when you have a Southern Baptist father and half Catholic/half Jewish mother. 

Every year, my grandfather (the Catholic one) with whom we lived with would put up a 4 foot artificial tree to be the centerpiece of our elaborate holiday decorations.  Ok, it’s all we actually did to celebrate Christmas, but that doesn’t matter.  It’s still one of my most favorite childhood memories.  You see, I never really believed in Santa.  We lived in an apartment building, so the concept of Santa coming down the chimney never made sense.  Plus, Santa gifts had the same handwriting and used the same wrapping paper as those that came from my mom.  The jig was up from an early age.  But the tree!  The Tree meant presents, and who cared where they came from, they were presents and that meant goodness. 

When I married a Jew, I soon learned that a tree was never a priority.  One year we bought a living mini-tree and decorated it with the 6 ornaments that fit on it.  But that was all I got.  Other ornaments hung in my office, dreaming of a tree to call home for a few weeks a year.  I lobbied for a tree every year, but because Mr. IT didn’t have one growing up, it was never on his Christmas list.

It wasn’t until the year he was out of work that I got my tree.  He figured since I was the one bringing home the bacon that he couldn’t deny me the tree anymore.  We went on Christmas Eve (it was still a battle that took a while to win) to Duane Reade.  Yes, Duane Reade, the NYC drug store.  We bought a 6 foot artificial tree for 1/2 off.  It doesn’t fit together so well, but duct tape fixes that.  It reminds me of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree – not the biggest or brightest, but certainly #1 in my book.

Every year since I’ve planned to buy a new tree after the holidays when trees are on sale.  But every year without fail I decide that my tree is just right. 

This year, for the first time, IT Boy helped Soccer Girl and me put up the ornaments.  He got really into it, and has been a really good boy by not playing with the tree but just sitting back and watching it instead.  It’s just right in my book.

Since I have a son who insists on jumping on furniture and taking his shoes off by scraping them on my shoes, I’m hoping Santa has a new sectional sofa for my holiday gift.  Hope it fits in the sleigh – we have a chimney, so now I believe!  I believe!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 24, 2010 1:27 pm

    Love this post and it comes at a very appropriate time for me as I was JUST trying to talk my full-bred Jewish husband into considering a tree going forward. I haven’t won him over yet but he did smile when I read your post. We have a mini-mini tree with sparkling lights that sits on top of our CD cabinet and is really meant to be part of a Xmas village. It was a gift to me. He likes that at least. 🙂

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  2. December 27, 2010 12:21 am

    I’m sure it would be very, very hard to resist the temptation to decorate, so I can’t blame him for giving into the fun. Merry Christmas and happy new year, Ellen!

  3. December 29, 2010 4:47 pm

    Maybe I should get you involved in the Betsy-Tacy ornament exchange. I sometimes felt a tree was not worth the trouble (heavy, needing to be watered, needles everywhere) but as I have accumulated beautiful ornaments I wanted a way to showcase them for my own pleasure, if no one else’s….

    Yours looks very satisfying as is, however! Happy New Year!

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