At first I was disappointed, but I’ve come to terms with it.
Here’s the deal: we have been married for three and a half years, and the past three Christmases together we have had Christmas trees.
In 2010, we got a dinky little fake tree from a present exchange that actually fit perfectly in our dinky little apartment. It was adorable.
In 2011, we got all ambitious since we had just purchased a house and went to a tree farm to cut down our own tree. It was hard work (not that I did any of it besides voice my opinion, ha). The experience proved interesting because we actually had a nest of praying mantis babies living in the tree, a phenomenon that occurs in approximately 1% of all trees sold or something crazy like that. Praying mantises are said to be good luck, so I took it as a sign that 2011 would be *our year* and that we’d finally have our baby. Yeah, you can see how well that worked out.
I don’t remember exactly why, but last year we were feeling a bit Grinch-like around the holidays. Eric didn’t want to get a tree at all. Since I’m a huge sucker for Christmas, I finally convinced him to let me go down the street and buy one from the Boy Scouts who sell trees outside the gas station about a half mile from our house. Despite its sketchy origins, it was the best looking tree so far and a fantastic bargain at a cost of just $30. Gas station trees: don’t knock ’em til you try ’em. (And as a side note, there are still pine needles embedded in the back of my car from that half mile drive back to the house. No clue how that’s possible).
That brings us to 2013. I’ve made no secret of the fact that money is tight around here, and the impending arrival of this child is a very real and pressing financial concern. Spending $30 on a tree is just something that isn’t logical at the moment. And sure, my parents would probably buy one for us if I really wanted them to… but Eric also brought up the good point that since we agreed not to exchange gifts this year, it seems a little depressing to have a tree with no pretty presents underneath it. I totally get that logic. And what’s more, I know one thing for certain…this will be our last year without a tree.
Yes, next year (God-willing), we will have a baby at home. A six-month old who will certainly have gifts from Santa piled high on Christmas morning (OK, piled modestly. Still piled), so clearly we’ll NEED a tree. And the year after that, (s)he may even have an idea of what’s going on. Each year thereafter will get more and more magical, and if all goes to plan, we’ll add more sweet babies to the mix as the years go by. Christmas will never be the same again.
So how can I be sad? Even if we don’t exchange presents on December 25th, I’ve already been given the greatest gift I could ever hope to get. And even if we made the financially responsible decision and decided to “skip” Christmas this year, I know that we will never do that again. For once, I can wait. I can make it through the rest of 2013 with dreams of 2014 dancing in my head.
That’s enough for me.