Wednesday, December 23, 2009

That Tree of Shea’s

I don’t remember our early Christmas trees in our current house, before children. I know we must have had them, as we certainly had trees in our house on Main Street and thus it was our habit. After Kearney was born, we had a tree that would fit on a table; we have pictures and all remember it well. As Kearney grew, she and Michael’s dad started a tradition of seeking out and cutting down trees every year and bringing them home in our red van. Ernie would go out in the fall to scout the tree farms to find those with that year’s “superior” trees.

When Shea was big enough, she joined them. Time passed, and soon enough, it was just Shea and Ernie going out to get the tree. And then, before any of us were ready, Michael started going along on the annual expedition to help with the physical parts of cutting and hauling two trees. Before we could catch our breath after that, Ernie died and Shea and Michael were making the expedition on their own, a tradition they continue every year.

Shea added an element to the tree hunt in that she’s a more-is-more kinda girl. For Shea, the bigger, taller, wider, more dense the tree, the better. We have ten-foot ceilings downstairs, so there’s room for a pretty tall tree. A few years ago, the tree she selected was so big that it not only went all the way to the ceiling (and marked the ceiling because it was too tall even after being trimmed to fit), it almost filled the room side to side, too.

Every year, I suggest that a little less tree might be a good idea. Routinely, this suggestion is greeted with horror. Michael has contributed a bit to the editing process, so this year, we have a lovely tall tree, but there’s still room to get by it to open and close the blinds in the front room. Michael and Shea got this tree when she was home at Thanksgiving, and we decorated it last weekend. It’s a winner, and the ornaments we’re making do and will look great on it.

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