Christmas Trees


I’ve been looking forward to today all week. Christmas tree day! The day our house will finally feel like Christmas. And, boy, did it start early. With that sickly sweet smell you can recognize as soon as you walk into a baby’s room. Vomit. Everywhere. And my child? All smiles because it was time to cuddle with Justin and me.

He made a pretty fast recovery, although he didn’t actually eat anything at all today. He had a few saltines and some Sprite, but that was it. Not even a bottle before he went to bed. I know it’s important to keep him hydrated, but it’s hard to force liquid into him. He does this every time he throws up; he gets wary about putting anything into his body, which I can respect.

What I appreciate the most about my son is his ability to persevere, even in the face of a stomach bug. Robbie happily climbed into his car seat for our trip to Tyngsboro to procure our family Christmas tree from our friend, Ken Times. We also took a family nap after returning home, where Justin slept, Robbie played, and I tried to sleep.

Finally, finally, finally it was time to decorate the tree! The moment I have been waiting for since at least two weeks before Thanksgiving. The tree went into the stand without trouble. The ornaments were in the living room. Everything was ready to go. Until Justin plugged in the lights. They didn’t work. The lights I have been using since 2003. They had a good run, but getting new lights really wasn’t in the plans tonight. After all, I was already on borrowed time with a sick, hungry, tired child. I quickly ran to the new CVS across the street to get more lights. After spending $9.00 on three boxes of lights, I darted back across Mass Ave., ready to decorate the tree.

Justin opened the boxes to put all the lights on the trees (this is a husband job) and found that the strands wouldn’t connect to each other. They were all dead-enders. With only 50 lights on each strand, there was no way we could decorate our tree with just one strand. A quick trip to the grocery was a fail, so it was into the car and down to Walgreens. Fortunately, they had strands of 300 lights and, in a fantastic turn of events, Christmas DVDs.

Unfortunately, at home, things were deteriorating. Robbie was cranky and inconsolable. Tree decorating was put off again. With the baby finally down (Justin rocked him to sleep in the way that only he can do), my P90X workout completed, dinner eaten, and shower taken, it was finally time to actually decorate the tree. Justin and I turned on A Charlie Brown Christmas and opened 31 years of Christmas ornaments.

Justin patiently listened to me recount the stories of the ornaments: the ones I made, the ones from my sorority years, the ones we made together the first year we were married, the ones from Robbie’s first ornaments. And, bless his heart, Justin didn’t give up when he saw there was a second box of ornaments. He just kept hanging.

I’m not sure if you can tell really what the picture for this post is, so let me explain it to you. There are three snowman snowglobe ornaments. One reads Erin, another Dad (they were out of “Justin”), and a third Katherine. We bought them in the Macon Macy’s the January I was pregnant. I went down to visit Justin while he was on active duty for 30 days, and we picked up the ornaments for about 75 cents apiece. I did look for a Robert, which they didn’t have. However, I was so convinced that we were having a girl, that I didn’t care. I bought the Katherine ornament, thinking that my daughter would really appreciate that I was so in tune with my body that I bought her an ornament without actually knowing she was a girl. Now I’m just hoping that Robbie will find the humor in the first ornament ever bought for him. And, knowing Robbie, I’m sure he will.


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