We said good bye to my favorite Christmas tree yesterday and I hummed a little as I (you should cover your eyes here) disrobed her.
She seemed a little magical and we thought, for a brief period, that she may have taken root in our family room. How else might we explain her increasing good cheer, the way her trunk lifted straighter when we turned on her lights.
Her arms performed the dual duty of her breed, tenderly cradling our heirloom ornaments — crystal, blown glass and Elmer glued construction paper — while cheerfully welcoming Christmas visitors. Mortal trees weaken under holiday pressure, their needle-shedding branches stoop low with its weight.
But, our tree grew healthier as the season wore on, and it seemed she might like to stay.
“Wouldn’t that be fantastic,” I said to Molly. “A tree growing right through our family room floor?”
Molly likened the phenomenon to Odysseus’ tree bed, and I started thinking about ways we could work a full grown pine into our home’s decor.
I hoped, as we coaxed that lovely tree from its stand, that she might have sent a few tiny radicles down into the floorboards, a gesture of permanence in a room that so regularly says good bye.
I thought about the joy that tree had seen — the lingering meals she lit, the thoughtful presents she shaded, the sibling banter she absorbed, the love and laughter she reflected as it bounced around the room.
Who wouldn’t want to stay? How sweet would it be to have a little Christmas all year long?
Alas, the trunk was bare as we wrested her to the curb and laid her gently on a pile of snow. She’ll enjoy a few less taxing duties, join a few friends, perhaps, to line a safe path through the ice during Sturgeon Season.
Meanwhile, we have memories of her glorious run, and a photo or two that won’t quite capture her brilliance.
“Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a tree we got, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.”