Bill picked out an especially beautiful tree for the Lovestead living room. From what he tells me, this year's edition came from just a few miles away at a Christmas tree outlet up Gold Creek Road.
Among all the trees we've had over the years, this one seemed to be the most cooperative, not only with the tree stand but also with its ease in decorating.
When the tree is already bushy and nicely shaped with no gaps to hide, decorating is pure pleasure, as it was yesterday.
Another magical aspect of Christmas always evolves as the bag of goodies to go on the tree comes out of its storage place of the past year.
Ahh, the sweet memories that came to mind yesterday as I carefully dug through ornaments, garland and other items all entwined within that plastic bag.
I can't remember the origins of every single one of my ornaments, but I do know that many bring back some lovely memories, or they make me think of people who are very special in my life and, of course, the dogs.
It's fun taking time occasionally to admire the decorated tree throughout the days leading up to Christmas and especially nostalgic in moments of solitude when the house is quiet, except for soft Christmas music playing in the background.
And, so, for Bill and me, this is approximately tree No. 42, give or take. I'm pretty sure we had a tree in 1984, but the tree and many memories of ours and our kids' earlier lives quickly vanished with the house fire.
I also remember the first few trees Bill brought home. Having been heavily influenced (albeit not gifted) by a talented mother who prided herself each year in having the most beautiful of trees with the most artistic of decorations, I admittedly had difficulty with diplomacy as my forester husband proudly brought home some of the most pathetic trees imaginable to man, let alone foresters.
Always the rationale: I wanted to leave the nice trees.
So, during those early years of our marriage, the forest gained significantly through Bill's annual Christmas tree hunts.
In addition, I learned to set some lower standards of expectation and managed to employ my often questionable creativity trying to cover up the gaps once the tree came into the house.
Bill's taste in trees for the Christmas celebration has improved significantly in four-plus decades, probably because he these days, he usually chooses trees, specifically grown at tree farms for Christmas purposes.
Meanwhile, the forest has, for the most part, been safe from Love family searches for the perfect tree.
That means everyone's happy. Christmas tree growers put money in the bank. Bill saves one more tree in the forest. And, Marianne no longer grimaces when she sees what Bill brought home.
It's all good. It's all pretty. And, it's definitely magical, wonderful and nostalgic.
Happy Saturday. 🎄