As the movers carried our Christmas tree box into the house last month they called to me, "you Americans sure like your Christmas trees, don't you?"
Yes. Yes, we do. We brought an artificial tree here, unsure whether fresh pine trees would be available or affordable (turns out not really, on either count). We didn't bring many of our holiday decorations but I was adamant about the tree. I placed her in the kitchen bay window the day after Thanksgiving, gently yoking her with the laden task of making us feel holidayish in the midst of a heatwave*.
And it's mostly worked. Well, the lights worked with the adapter for about 15 minutes. They burned manically bright and then, a few minutes later, Sam called "Um...the lights are flickering!" and by the time I came into the room they had dimmed and some had gone out. But no matter. Just her green presiding presence--almost matriarchal--makes me feel grateful and full hearted.
She's not fully dressed yet, our tree. We're waiting to fully decorate her until we are all five here together, which will be about December 20th. In the meantime, I decided to use it for a simple advent tree for the kids (especially since apparently I didn't feel as adamant about bringing our old beloved playmobil advent set). I rounded up some craft paper envelopes, plain old labels cut into flags, and a mix of goodies and fun activities as contents to reveal each day. (Never mind that I missed the first three days or that the later day envelopes don't actually have anything inside yet. Baby steps.)
She's a work in progress but, as I'm feeling keenly lately, aren't we all?
*Over the weekend it was 97 degrees. That was when I had epiphany #45098: The first Christmas took place in a warm climate, too. So I decided to just embrace it, move on and get festive.