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O Christmas Tree

After a stress filled week, I decided to spend Saturday decorating the house for Christmas. I wanted to clear my mind of all the negative energy that had crept in, and replace it with Christmas cheer.

As I opened each bin and began sorting through the lights, ornaments, Santas and Snowmen my mind drifted to years past when the kids were younger and Christmas time meant unbridled excitement.
They loved coming home from school and finding the house transformed for the holidays, but their favorite pre-Christmas preparation was going to buy the Christmas tree.

 We liked to wait for a cool night, the colder the better. In Florida, that takes some patience. When the weather turned we would bundle up and head to the lot to walk among the trees. When the kids were small they would run excitedly between the rows of Fraser Firs and Douglas Firs picking this tree or that one.

We would eventually narrow our choices to two or three then carefully check for freshness.  When we were satisfied, we would vote for the one we liked best. The tree was bagged and tied on the roof, and we would slowly head home playing Christmas songs on the radio.

I remember the year my oldest at 15 was allowed to drive home. He was so nervous and careful. The ten minute ride took twice as long, but his pride was worth it. When we got home, everyone had their job. Someone would get the scissors to cut the twine. Another would get the plastic and the old towel laid out on the carpet. The littlest one was in charge of filling the tree stand with water.

The tree would be carried in and set in the bucket. We would cut away the nylon holding it tight and watch the branches gracefully fall and release their pungent fragrance.

We would stand back and admire our Christmas tree. The lights and decorations would be added tomorrow, but for now we all appreciated the simple beauty of that unadorned tree.