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Tree Thoughts, Bear Hugs, Kid President

Hiya!

I was planning on writing something totally different today but I thought I would take a cue from Melissa at Writer Grrl Reads and write about right now. I’m writing this on Monday night, a half hour after we just got back from picking up a Christmas tree down the street from our apartment. This year we have people hanging out from Canada selling Canadian trees, and the girl who chatted us up during the process had the most porcelain looking skin and thick brown dreads. Her accent was super cute, too. After looking at two trees, we settled on the second and lugged it home.

2013 Estelle and James Christmas Tree Selfie

Picking out the Christmas tree has always been a big deal for me. When I was young, my dad and I would go to the school near my church and pick out a tree just a few days before Christmas Eve. When I moved in with my husband (then fiance), we bought our tree earlier than that and always tried to keep it alive and kicking until one of our birthdays (end of January or beginning of February). One tradition we did adopt was naming the tree: Nat (after Nat King Cole), Perry (after Perry Como), and Fozziwig (after Fozzie’s role in The Muppet Christmas Carol).

And then moving from a house to an apartment, a lot of people were shocked (I have no idea why) that we would still get a real tree. Um, hello! Have you met me? I feel personally offended when people tell me they use a fake tree (it’s true) but not have one at all? It’s like Christmas never existed. Last year, we brought home our first mini tree (for almost double the price of the ones in the suburbs… sigh) and somehow managed to get all our ornaments on the tiny thing.

(We named that one Kevin after Kevin McAllister in Home Alone.)

Then a new tradition started: drinking Dr. Peppermints — a mix of peppermint schnapps and Dr. Pepper (I don’t measure and made them super strong last year) while we wait for the branches to loosen up and that true pine scent to fill our little space. So far this year our cat doesn’t seem too impressed with the tree. I was a little concerned about her reaction but she’s napping on the back of our couch right now… not even looking at it.

It’s better than attacking the branches, I suppose. Oh, who am I kidding? It definitely is.

2013 Estelle Christmas Tree

When you read this Christmas is only going to be 15 days away. FIFTEEN DAYS. I can’t believe how it crept up on us. I can’t believe how much there is to do still, and I’m also preparing myself for how fast all of it will pass by. (Isn’t that the worst? I have to get better at enjoying the moment.) So maybe this a just a little reminder to reflect and just enjoy? I don’t know if you are a fan of Kid President (you so should be) but last week he said life is what happens when you put down your phone DO SOMETHING AWESOME and ya know, for the rest of the year and the fresh one to come… that’s some advice I need to follow through on.

By the way, we named the new tree Linus.

December 17, 2013 - 2:55 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - We always name our tree too! Although… I forgot what we named our tree last year because let’s face it… I still miss Short Round (aptly named for his shape). Both of our parents have fake trees now when we used to go cut down real ones (then just buy real ones, then transition to fake). I can’t wait to get a bigger tree next year (when maybe we have a bigger car because squeezing Rudolph into my Elantra was TOUGH) and keep the tradition going!

December 13, 2013 - 6:03 pm

Molly @ wrapped up in books - I love the “stop and write about the moment” idea! Your story of Christmas trees and how you name this was absolutely adorable.

My mom got a kitten this year who literally ATTACKED the tree, so she had to take it down, and my little brother is freaking out about how “non” Christmas it will feel.

Happy holidays!

December 11, 2013 - 4:49 pm

Alexa Y. - This post makes me feel so Christmas-y while I read it! I hate to admit that we’re using a fake tree this year (since we still wanted a tree, but we won’t actually be in the apartment for most of the holidays). We do have a pine-scented candle around though, and we’re having an (unofficial) decorating party tomorrow!

December 10, 2013 - 6:01 pm

alisa selene - That is so fun that you name your Christmas tree..I like the idea of real trees but because of allergies not an option!

December 10, 2013 - 4:46 pm

Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife - I so wish we could get a tree so close! Ever since we have lived in Sweden we have been tree free which is a bummer!

December 10, 2013 - 4:46 pm

Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife - I so wish we could get a tree so close! Ever since we have lived in Sweden we have been tree free which is a bummer!

December 10, 2013 - 3:26 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - Aww, this was such an adorable and fun post to read, Estelle! <3 I think it's adorable that you always get a Christmas tree, and even name it. I think Linus is the perfect name!! And yay for the fact that you're cat isn't attacking it (yet). 😉

I think Kid President's advice is great. We're watching a video in school (er, at least, we were, until all these snow days!) about how connected people are to their phones, and how it's really preventing us from living. It's really true, unfortunately. It takes a lot of effort to put the phone down or close that tab, but it can be really worth it in the end. =)

Lovely post, Estelle! I may not celebrate Christmas, but I loved this post. <3

December 10, 2013 - 2:36 pm

Meg - Love that y’all name your trees, too — what a cute tradition! I would love to have a real tree but am way too lazy, being on the second floor of an apartment complex in the ‘burbs. 🙂 When we get a house, I would love to start that tradition! We had artificial trees some years growing up, and live ones others… I love ’em either way!

December 10, 2013 - 12:54 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I love the Canadians selling Christmas trees! It’s so silly but they’re one of the few things that I really miss about NYC. I’ll have to try a Dr. Peppermint. I love Dr. Pepper and even though I have some bad memories of peppermint schnapps (an old roommate and her friends used to do shots of them at parties and I joined them for way too many) it still sounds good.

December 10, 2013 - 12:09 pm

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - I love this. So, so, so much! And I love that you have a Canadian Christmas tree too :). And you’re adorable 🙂

December 10, 2013 - 11:56 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Aww, I love your tree. And that you name them. I always prefer a live tree, too. I don’t usually get a tree for my house, but I always help my parents get a tree and decorate.

Enjoy the holiday season!

December 10, 2013 - 9:42 am

Ginger @ GReads! - How cute! I love that you name your tree. Growing up we had a mix of fake and real trees. Just depended on what my mother felt like “putting up” with that year lol. I can still remember one Christmas (well, a few weeks before) my dad was out of town on business, so my mom, sisters and I decided to surprise him and bring home a tree. My sister picked out this giant size tree that my mother was hesitant on buying at first. But we someone convinced her. The thing was so huge, we had to put it in the middle of our living room because it had vaulted ceilings lol. In the middle of the night, one night, we heard this loud crash! Everyone came downstairs and the poor tree had tumbled over. Talk about a mess!! After that we didn’t see another live tree in our home again, ha!

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