This is our Christmas tree. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. And like you, we haven’t even seen the inside. (After Thanksgiving!) It’s also the first Christmas tree my husband (pictured here in his work clothes!) has ever bought in his entire life. He paid exactly $21.34 for it.
The first holiday that my husband and I spent together when the subject of a tree came up he said— in total earnestness— “How about a bucket with some branches in it? We could put lights on that.”
“How about, no.” I responded.
On this, I was non-negotiable. I would have a Christmas tree, no question.
That year my husband was also keen to get rid of a bunch of trees on our property—so we compromised. He did his land renovation—and one of the tops of those tall pines became our string-o-light holder and present shelterer. I was happy. So was he.
Years after—still going with my husband’s loathe of paying for a tree, we would get what a friend of ours refers to as “ditch trees.” Small trees that grow in ditches or otherwise neglected areas which are in abundance in our evergreen loving Northwest climate. (We do live on a largely forested island.) They sufficed. But they were also a lot of work. Even just finding the right one took muchos time. You might see it one day, but not have the proper saw in the car! Certainly a lot more time and work than say, walking through a parking lot, paying for your tree, and putting it on top of your car— like most people in this country do. Hence, my current stance.
The conversation started like this and took place in the parking lot of Home Depot.
Me: “Honey, brace yourself because this year we are buying a Christmas tree.” Pause. Pause. No response. “But it’s your lucky day because right over there,” I said pointing, “there is one for only $19.00.”
I was tired of ditch trees. I just wanted a nice tree to hang things on and put presents under. At this point, I wasn’t even picky. Even from my position sitting in the front seat of our car nursing my daughter and half a parking lot away, I knew that $19.00 tree was going to be just perfect.
In his typical good natured way, my husband responded to my parking lot announcement with, “Well, why don’t you walk over there and see if that’s the one you want while Xylus and I are in the store.”
He’s a smart man. He does not engage in battles he knows he will lose— in fact engaging in battles is not our style at all. But more than that— he is brilliant when it comes to things he knows are important to me, which we established from Christmas One, trees are. So despite the fact that he could probably think of a million different ways he would rather spend even a meager $19.00, the tree went home with us that night, with nary a complaint from my favorite man.
“That’s the first Christmas tree I’ve seen,” the ferry worker told us as we loaded on the boat that night with our tree strapped onto our car.
“Well, we couldn’t pass up the deal,” my husband said with a grin.