Okay, what follows the Thanksgiving tradition most closely? Duh… The Christmas Tree tradition, of course!
This year, perhaps following in my general sloth around not doing the big Thanksgiving party, I was slightly lobbying for putting up a smaller tree. Our huge 12′ tree comes in 5 sections and, in theory, you could leave off lower sections and keep putting up a smaller and smaller tree. (Emphasis on the “in theory” part since we’ve never actually attempted such a thing!)
The first year in this house, with its 35′ ceiling, we were both struck by the 12′ tree at PriceSmart and agreed we would “give it to each other” as our Christmas gift that year. That first year we put it up ourselves, with the essential assistance of our dear friends, Chris and Louise.
But I’m sure I speak accurately for Chris and Louise when I say that our decision the following year to get Juan Jose and Linet to help was a welcome decision. (Let’s face it, it’s a bear to put up, and WAY past the comfort zone of us 50+, 60+, and even bordering on 70+ folks!)
So this year we’d asked Linet and hadn’t yet established anything specific when she finally caught us on the cell Sunday noon-ish. She’d been trying to reach us all morning (but the current cell service in CR is horrible and overloaded so there’s lots of time of “no service”) and she reported they wanted to come over around 2.
Okay! Game on!
The whole family arrived a bit before 2 and within 2 hours had the entire 12′ tree (in 5 pieces) down from its storage place, set up, lights strung, and completely decorated. An attempt to pay a bit for, say, their gas and such was met by “no, no, no — this is our gift to you!”
We’d all acknowledged this was probably a “last” since our house in Utah has no place for such a big tree, so we’re imagining we might just sell it with the house. And, of course, such “lasts” are indicative of other more generalized “lasts” — we’re leaving, plain and simple. There are many more “lasts” to come.
But despite my initial potential inertia about the tree, it’s wonderful now that it’s up. I’ve always loved the whole Christmas Tree tradition — and frankly I’m looking forward to being back in the land of the “real” Christmas tree. (And, yes, I’ll admit it!!, up to a point, SNOW!)
The likes of friends like Juan Jose and Linet are not likely to come our way in Salt Lake City, and that’s something we’ll definitely miss. And we’ll even probably miss our twelve-foot tree.
But… life goes on. In the meantime, we’re sure enjoying our tree!