Despite feeling rotten all day, it was a great pick me up to go to our local Christmas tree vendor a but our tree and wreath. This year, unlike previous ones, we did not have to haul a tree from Manhattan on a tram on a bus to our apartment. We simply crossed the street and were in the North Pole — or so the signage said. We (or rather Jay) hauled the tree up three flights of stairs, but luckily this year it was a four-foot tree. Reason: Calvin wanted to be sure he could reach every part without being on a chair or ladder, especially the top to put the star on.

Tonight our apartment is now brimming with seasonal cheer. Our tree is up with presents underneath, all ready to hop into cargo holds with us on flights to Ohio and South Africa. The fresh smell of evergreen welcomes guests on the front door — the simple “joy” reminder is worth the trade off of not being able to see through the security peephole.

Our window sports a lighted wreath. From the outside there are lighted wreaths in all the middle windows of each floor facing the street. The photo above right is actually of the rear of the wreath, but we strung lights on it and dressed it up. It turned into an homage to decorations from my childhood, a pair of snowmen whose heads are secured by toothpicks and tissues that my brother and I hung as kids, the fairy that was the tree topper when I was Calvin’s age, and in the centre, a wreath ornament Jay’s grandmother gave him, part of an annual tradition. (Thanks to Grammy for keeping those safely all these years!)

And for the first time ever, we have stocking holders for our Christmas stockings and they’re over the fireplace. So come on over Santa, we’re ready! (Just don’t get me started on the circuitous interrogations about whether I am Santa because I put presents under Christmas trees at night!)



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