How traditions come to be

This is my first holiday season with Partner and we are on our own this year.  As we are going to be off on far-flung adventures in January, we decided that we would not be traveling anywhere for the holidays this year.  Truthfully, I am grateful we will be staying put in our home.

As we aren’t going to see family members, we are left to figure out how we want to celebrate the holiday season. If I was on my own, I would not do a darn thing besides the usual Jewish Christmas — Chinese food and a movie.  Certainly in the past when I’ve been unable to travel to see friends or family, I have done absolutely nothing for the holidays.  I saw no reason to expend the time, energy, and effort when there was dissertation writing or candidacy exam reading to be done!

Now that Partner and have a life and a home together I was actually a bit surprised that I found myself wanting to do something for the holiday season.  And so yesterday we ventured out to go get a Christmas tree. 

Let me be clear from the start: I only wanted a little Charlie Brown-esque tree.  We live in the city, so something small – around three feet – and low-maintenance was perfect in my mind.  Last weekend when we were at Metromarket we even espied such darling little trees. Oh, no! Partner had other plans in mind.

Truly his plans were awesome and it was an exciting adventure to go out to Carnation and cut down our own tree.  I had not been out to cut a tree since I was little when we would trudge through the snow to find the perfect tree, cut it down, and then put it on a sled to drag it out of the forest.  It seemed to take FOREVER! But maybe that was because I was about 5 years-old at the time.  Yesterday, though, Partner was excellent with the saw and getting the tree into the car.  The whole thing took no time at all.  But small…. this tree is not.  The top of the tree is about three inches away from touching the ceiling in the living room.  Not only did Partner want a taller tree than I wanted, but when you go out to a tree farm (so I learned) they charge by the foot AND they only let you cut down certain trees.  So it is in their best interest to not let you cut down the smaller trees that they have growing for the coming years.

It took a bit of doing figure out how to put the tree stand together and get the tree perfectly straight, but it is up and smells wonderful. 

One of the things I remember from holidays when I was little was my mother unplugging the lights on tree each night and taking her biggest Pyrex liquid measuring cup and filling the tree stand with water.  Yesterday I took my biggest OXO liquid measuring cup and filled the tree stand after we got it situated.  This morning when I came down it had already consumed all of the water, and so I quickly went to fill it again as I guess if you neglect to water it, the tree clogs itself with its own sap.  Hopefully I have not done irreparable damage to our tree.  Either way I am going to have to keep an eye on this rather thirsty tree over the next few weeks.


About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
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