This weekend my husband and I will get our Christmas tree (hopefully an organic or sustainably-grown tree) from one of the Greenmarkets in the city. This is one of my favorite parts of the season. When I was little decorating the tree was a family event: we baked cookies and listened to music (Handel's Messiah being a favorite). Our family tree was the hodge-podge kind, all shapes and sizes and colors, a festive mess of memories.
Even as a child (the youngest of three girls) I remember being so comforted by this, my whole family together decorating this tree, and when it was done—practically falling over under the weight of everything— and the twinkle lights were turned on, it was lovely.
My mom decorates the tree by herself now since my sisters and I are all out of the house and have been for many years. Since I've been married I've started to accumulate my own collection of ornaments, most of which were gifts from friends, and a few I bought myself. It's no where near the collection I'll see on my parent's tree when we go home for Christmas in December. It probably isn't even enough to fill up the small tree we're likely to get this weekend! But I'll still bake some cookies, brew some cider on the stove, play a favorite album.
And when it's done and I plug in the lights, I'll sit down, remember, and be thankful.