The smell of Christmas

by Katie on December 9, 2010

As soon as Thanksgiving was over, Brandon bombarded me with the following question, again and again, “So, we’re not going to do a Christmas tree this year, right?”

To which I scoffed.

Not “do” a Christmas tree? Not in this house, Buster. (This, after he so sweetly surprised me with one last year.)

His defense was, and it’s admittedly a good one, that we’ll be in Texas for the holidays, and it was already a week after Thanksgiving. Not much time to enjoy a tree.

It didn’t work on me though. Those claims were completely lost on even my frugal nature. I told him there was no way I would be ready for Christmas when we got to Texas if I didn’t have a tree in our house to look at until then.

But I did compromise. Without telling him even. I began searching the mighty Craigslist for artificial trees other people didn’t want anymore. Yes, an artificial tree. The word tasted awful when I said it out loud. I just figured that if we weren’t ever going to have very long to really enjoy a tree, we should probably go that route so it at least lasts for several years.

Later that day, though, I had to make a grocery run for just a few things.

This is where I should probably mention there’s a small Christmas tree lot in the grocery store parking lot. Which proved to be the demise of my little plan as soon as I opened my door and caught the scent of Christmas wafting in from all the evergreens stacked up just feet away.

I hesitated for a moment, pining for one of those trees, then looked away, and forced myself inside to grab my groceries. Whew! Talk about an exercise in self control. But I had made it.

The only problem was, I had to go back outside.

As soon as the sliding doors opened, and that smell of Christmas drifted into my nostrils again, I couldn’t get my groceries loaded fast enough.

I practically ran over to the lot entrance. And that’s when I saw it:  a six or seven foot Douglas fir could be mine for a mere $25. If I weren’t sold already, that did it right there.

I marched straight back to the $25 bin, grabbed the first tree I saw there, and headed straight to the trunk-cutter, nearly wiping out a preschooler in the process. (I mean, I was carrying a big, full, Christmas tree at least a foot taller than I was. It wasn’t the easiest process to navigate as well.)

So I got home with the tree in my truck. Which Brandon noticed as soon as he turned into the driveway.

“I thought we weren’t getting a tree,” he said as he opened the door.

“Uh, not getting one was not an option. But look at the computer. There’s four Craigslist ads for fake trees I was going to check on this evening. It’s just that, well, I…had to go to the grocery store today,” I started.

“And?…” He clearly did not see the connection here.

“And I parked by the Christmas tree lot, just because they have it right next to where I always park, and when I opened my door, I smelled Christmas.”

And I think that’s when he cursed the scent of Christmas. As it meant he had to fill me a bucket with sand and help get the tree set up inside. As well as participate in his favorite holiday task:  decorating.

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