November 23, 2010
For Those Who Celebrate Christmas, Are You Getting Your Tree Sooner or Later?
So, Thanksgiving is soooo one day from now. Aside from figuring out which recipe to use for baking corn bread for Thursday's dinner, I, alas, am set for Turkey day, since my sister is graciously hosting.
So, I'm focused on the future, which is Christmas. And, I'm contemplating where to buy our family tree.
Come on, I'm not alone in mentally leapfrogging over Thanksgiving to Christmas. Stores around Walnut Creek have had their faux pine garlands on display since at least before Halloween.
In our family, we established the tradition of buying our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. And, by the way, our family is not religious, we don't go to church, and we have not incorporated the teachings of Jesus Christ into a spiritual tradition that any of us follow individually or as a family.
So, yes, Christmas for me is all about the gingerbread, songs, 1940s movies and getting together with family. I love all that stuff, and that's why I happen to like this particular holiday—or rather, the lead-up to it. I delight in stretching this lead-up out as long as possible.
However, for me it is typically the anticipation of the day, more than the day itself, that I love. I say typically because here's a true confession: All apologies to my husband, but planning our wedding was thrilling. The day itself, with all its deep, life-changing significance? Not as thrilling in comparison. The only event that exceeded all expectations and months of eager anticipation was the birth of my son. And, yes, I am seeing a therapist to address this and many other issues.
So, I'm the type of person who wants to get the Christmas tree as soon as possible. I like to have that wonderful Christmas tree smell filling my living room, and to be able to gaze onto the tree, with its lights and ornaments, filling my living room window.
Others are not in such a rush to buy their trees. And, yes, there are certain problems to buying a tree too early. One year, our tree was mighty dried out by December 24, and I worried we had a fire hazard on our hands.
My older brother, who happens to be more practical than me, talked about liking to wait until Christmas Eve—when he and his family could get good deals on trees. But I think his kids, as they got older, started nudging mom and dad to get their trees a few weeks earlier.
Actually, the idea of waiting until Christmas Eve to set up and "trim" the tree has a charm to it. It's a tradition in some European countries, and it makes me think of a festive scene in a 19th century British novel.
But, no, I can't wait to get that Christmas tree. My anticipation is already running pretty high.
I expect we might go to the Honey Bear Trees lot, which is not in Walnut Creek but in Lafayette, across Pleasant Hill Road from Acalanes High School.
Twenty percent of what we pay for the tree, wreathes and any other purchases goes to support the Walnut Creek Education Foundation, the nonprofit that supports schools in the Walnut Creek School District and Las Lomas High School. I passed by the lot Tuesday.
It opened on Monday, so apparently some people are even more eager to get ahold of their trees than me. The lot will be open through Dec. 24.
Do you have another place you like to go? And why? What's your family Christmas tree tradition?