On the first day of December, we excitedly dragged our Christmas tree out of the garage, opened our box of ornaments and let the girls have free reign over the decorating task. Two days ago, we did the same all over again, only this time, with a new tree.
The first year we were married, with Paul and I set to host Christmas night at our house, we went Christmas tree hunting one weekend, only to return home empty handed. Every single department store we tried had literally sold out. I ended up buying a set of red baubles and silver stars and we decorated the jasmine bush on our patio instead, which still looked impressive and which thankfully still served its purpose as the designated spot under which to place all our family's gifts.
Over the next few Christmases, we never bothered to even try buying a tree as there weren't any functions at our house and we figured there wasn't much point. However, when Grace came along in 2009, I insisted a tree was vital (even though she was oblivious to all the festivities and hype) as I wanted to establish even at that early age what I felt was a very important family tradition. I ended up buying a cheap, twenty dollar one from Coles (even more of a bargain when it scanned up as thirteen dollars at the checkout). It did it's job, but has always looked rather bare and unimpressive. And while structurally it was fine, the more Paul and I have looked at it over the past week, the more we've decided it was time for us to buy something a bit nicer for our family... something that showed we valued this season a bit more than it appeared.
On Wednesday, the girls and I picked up our 'forever Christmas tree'... it is actually smaller than our previous one (although when placed on a little table, it is still my height), but it is more of a realistic pine needle look, with fuller branches that look attractive even when undecorated. It is not too bulky to store, is easy to set up and isn't too big or fancy (which wouldn't suit our humble little home anyway).
We returned from the shops after collecting our order and set about transferring our baubles and ornaments from the old tree to the new one with the girls ferrying pieces back and forth to me. "Mummy... I like this tree!" exclaimed Sophie as it began to take shape. We selected a nicer position where it can be enjoyed night after night as our fairy lights twinkle away and we are all much happier with our smaller but definitely lovelier little tree...