The tree is up and presents are wrapped. The next step is to box them and get them in the mail. Why does this all seem so hard? I know why, of course – it’s a hard December. Those presents I’m mailing should be under the tree and the tree should be fuller, taller, and loaded with the treasured ornaments that I carefully pack away each year and that my daughters always help me to hang. It’s hard to be merry this year. I’m sure I speak for many.
Joe and I debated whether to even put up a tree this year. I have other decorations to dot around the house to make it look festive, so why bother? (A couple of years ago I went a little crazy with the “flameless candles” so I can easily light up the living room without a tree.) We don’t have an artificial one so “getting the tree” is not as easy as going into the attic. Surprisingly, it was Joe who decided we needed one and took it upon himself to get it. When he brought it home, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
It’s a live Norfolk Island Pine in a pot. Norfolk Pines grow well in Florida and even though it’s considered an evergreen, it’s not a true pine. Norfolk Island is somewhere in the Pacific between Australia and New Zealand. No wintery, piney smell, and the soft leaves and feathery branches make it hard to decorate. I did my best. I hung only the lightest ornaments – the crocheted snowflakes, red foam balls, and the red ribbon chain I made in the 8th grade while home sick for a month with mono. (The fact that it still exists is a testament to Elmer’s glue.) It’s somewhere on the scale between a Charlie Brown and a Dr. Seuss tree. Kind of cute, though.
Like most of us, we’re making the best of a hard year. And when the COVID coast is clear, I’m going to party like it’s 1999.