Against the odds, this year I finally got my way when we picked out our Christmas tree.
And it only took 20 years.
Kim and the boys have always liked a big, thick cultured tree. You know, the puff-ball hedge-like ones with branches so thick and close together that the ornaments lay limply all over it, rather than swinging gracefully from the branches. They've always turned their noses up at the natural, un-butchered kind with long thin branches and lots of room for tucking presents and ornaments in against the trunk. "Those are Charlie Brown trees." As if that's a bad thing.
Every year they got their way. Not because they can all out-arm-wrestle me (which they can, even when they were pre-schoolers) but because it's always been 3 against 1.
This year Kim & I went tree-shopping alone and Kim must have been in a charitable mood because he didn't even hesitate when I hopefully pointed to a tall 'natural douglas fir' and said what about this one? Or maybe it was because it was a good 3 feet taller and 1/3 the price of the cultured ones he gravitates to. And we have a vaulted ceiling that fits a 9' tree. Anyway, I got my tree this year, but boy, did I pay for it.
I have to admit, it didn't look like much when we first set it up but I remained optimistic, trying in vain to convince my family that it would look good once the branches relaxed and we got it decorated.
Cole showed his diplomatic potential: "no offense Mom but that tree looks like crap."
As we decorated it, Shea, my tree-trimming partner, grudgingly admitted that he "could see the appeal of a tree like this." Not that he actually liked it, but he could see how some people might. He's a very empathetic fellow, my Shea.
I like it, especially with a Grandma in front of it, lots of presents underneath, family gathered around and the smell of Christmas brunch in the air.
And I think my boys have come around to appreciating its quirky beauty.
Although I suspect we'll be back to a fluffy cultured one next year.
I hope everyone had a Christmas as wonderful, warm and family-filled as mine was.