We braved the coldest night of this already cold winter to find a Christmas tree. All of us bundled up in several layers of our warmest clothes. I put on two shirts, a sweatshirt, and my coat, along with boots and my warm gloves. Jenny wore something similar. Elena wore her boots also, as well as the fleece jumpsuit that her grandma made for last year’s Thanksgiving trip. On top of that, we put on her heavy coat and her new mittens. Not everything matched, but at least she was warm. She was so bundled up that I had to let the car seat straps all the way out, just to buckle her in.
Jenny and I have different childhood Christmas tree traditions. Her family always went to a tree lot, while my family would always go to a tree farm and cut our own. There weren’t any tree farms in Texas, so we didn’t have any choice. This year, even though I had wanted to go to a tree farm, I couldn’t find any close to us and it would have taken a great deal more time on that cold, cold night, so I’m glad Jenny convinced me to go to a lot.
The first lot had beautiful trees and friendly attendants, but was too expensive for our taste. Even though we didn’t buy anything, they gave Elena a candy cane. They even told us where to find other nearby lots that had a wider variety of trees. We knew where one of them was because of the giant inflatable snowman we had driven by many times already.
That lot was where we found our tree. The attendant was just as friendly, and his gift for Elena was even better: a baby tree made out of the scraps from other trees. We chose a white pine, not too big, but with a nice shape and a good place for our star. Jenny decorated it that night after Elena went to bed, and Elena was enchanted when she came downstairs the next morning to see it. Now every morning she wants to turn on its lights as soon as she comes downstairs in the morning. It’s the right tree for us.