I wasn’t going to put it up this year. I have always suspected that my husband was gritting his teeth as he looked at it with its tacky lights and its not-found-in-nature fake needles. I did make an effort–I cross-stitched some menorah ornaments and bought some star-of-David garland to hang on it, but when you get down to brass tacks it’s still a Christmas tree.
It has always meant family to me. Every ornament is a memory. I have a few pieces from every part of my life, and every year I try to buy or make something meaningful to add to it.
Except, like I said, I wasn’t going to put it up this year.
It seemed like too much effort. It certainly doesn’t have any religious meaning for me, and the whole idea of putting it up seemed like a big fat reminder of 2010, my Year of Failure.
But then this weekend my husband actually suggested we put it up. He said he would help me, which he’s never done before. He told me he thinks of it as a memory tree–it holds our last 11 years together, not to mention my childhood.
So we dug it out of the closet, put it together, strung the lights, draped the beads over it, and picked through the ornaments. We did it together.
We’ve never done that before. And I’m surprised at how much it means to me.