There’s a tradition in my family: as soon as Thanksgiving is over, we head out into the
forest tree lot to pick out just the *right* Christmas tree. (There was one year in which the tree was procured at the local Home Depot, but I was in Arizona and therefore claim no responsibility for said sacrilege.)
We wander and we wonder: Which tree will it be?? Oh, the qualities we discuss: color, shape, presence of dried-out needles, straightness of the trunk, and last but most important, height. A short tree has been unfavorably received in the past; my dad propped it up on paint cans to make up the difference.
We decide by consensus. Trees are declared “perfect,” and their various qualities are emphasized (or minimized and excused). Finally, the perfect tree for each year is chosen, cut down, and tied to the roof of the vehicle for the ride home.
At this point, the tree’s qualities or lack thereof are a moot point- it’s our tree! The bare side faces the wall; my mom adds lights; we adorn the empty spaces with especially large ornaments. Our month-long mission begins as we attempt to keep the tree well-watered and sufficiently wet until at least January 1.
Yesterday, we started this process for this year’s tree.
(More pictures to come.) It is 19-glorious-feet tall, and it is thirsty. Really thirsty. Thirsty enough that if you put your head into the tree stand, you could watch the water disappear. So we water. And we water. And we water some more. ‘Cause like it or lump it, this is our tree.
All of the tree excitement for the year (combined with my favorite brother-in-law’s post here) got me thinking. Here’s my theory: spouses are like Christmas trees (excluding the month-long relationship limit). You get to look around and debate qualities for a bit, but once you’ve settled on one and taken him (or her) home, the choosing ends. The choice you make each day switches from which one to how you will water and care for your spouse.
Thanks to the well-watered couples around me for modeling this well!