If the complete lack of response to last week's post is any indication, I am sort of back to the drawing board here.  I suppose that takes the pressure off - I feel like I'm just writing for myself, for my own therapy and benefit, which is why I started this blog in the first place.  Writing here has helped me wade through a lot of difficult things, as well as celebrate many joys.  I'm going to take this opportunity to go back to writing just for me - when I feel like writing and whatever I feel like writing.  When I write consistently, I am much healthier emotionally.  I am more likely to take things in stride.  I face things instead of shoving them away in my mind to fester.  I write, let the words spill out onto the screen, and once I've done that, I can step back and gain perspective.  If I'm just writing for my own therapy, it will be okay with me.  If you are reading and want to come along for the ride, welcome; I'll be thrilled to have you.

I'm not sure if I've written about this before, but I'm not going back into the archives to check because it's on my mind and I'm going to write about it either way.  One of my most favorite memories with Greg was taking the time to go pick out a Christmas tree together.  He used to work part time during Christmas season at a local tree farm, and he had access to the farm's special reserve sections of trees.  We'd spend ages up there, covering every bit of ground and examining every tree.  We'd argue the pros and cons of this one or that one and finally settle on the very best one.  Greg would cut it down and we'd drag it down the hill to wrap it up and take it home.  For a few years, we did this together, just the two of us. 

This memory remains present and cherished for me.  I love to pick the perfect tree every Christmas, and always feel Greg's presence when I find a good tree and I can almost hear him sighing impatiently and listing all the criticisms he'd have about it.  It makes me happy to choose a tree I know he'd love, too.  And I'm lucky that Mike likes to participate in getting a tree with me.  He grew up with artificial trees but has never questioned my desire for a real tree; he understands how much it means to me choose and enjoy a fresh tree.
The last several years, living in cities, we've mostly been limited to the small tree stands set up around urban areas.  Most of the trees are wrapped up tight, with an impatient staff, unwilling to unwrap tree after tree for my examination.  It's definitely not the same experience.  This year, we decided to go to a farm not far from our house and cut our own tree.  Emmett got to be part of the experience.  He was so excited.  He took off running with complete and utter joy, in and out of the trees, around the entire area.  He loved looking at all the trees and he was so happy right along with me when we found our tree.  Although, after Mike cut ours down, he wasn't finished - he wanted to keep looking; keep finding more trees!

We got the tree strapped to the top of the car, brought it home, and Emmett followed me around and around the tree as I strung the lights.  He keeps shrieking excitedly that we have a Christmas tree!  Like he keeps remembering it's there and he can't believe his luck!  We haven't put on the ornaments yet; we'll get to that later this week.  But it's up, lit, and filling our house with light and holiday spirit. 

I am very thankful that Emmett and Mike share in my joy.  It helps me keep alive my memories of selecting and loving the perfect Christmas trees with Greg.

Choosing a tree is a symbol of the start of the holiday season for me.  It's a tangible start to a time filled with love, giving, feasting, and - most importantly, to me - the joyful and frequent gathering of family and friends.  This is my favorite time of year.


Anonymous said...

Amy - I love reading your BLOG and seeing photos of Emmett. You are wise beyond your years! patty

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