Tag Archives: tis the season

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

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Maggie and I are going on our fourth Christmas in Chicago together. Yet despite this, we’ve never gotten a real Christmas tree. We’ve done the wreath, the fake tree, but never found a reason to go out and buy a tree. They were selling trees 1.5 blocks away from our building. We found our reason this year.

After combing through the trees, we found the perfect 6-footer. Our living room in our apartment is larger than most, but we didn’t want something too huge. I think we both had visions of the Griswold tree just having its way with our living room.

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This tree had a little too much going on for our liking.

When we finally selected our lucky tree to take home, they netted it and we did what all good city girls do: picked it up and started walking down the street. Despite not having too far to go, that beast was a lot heavier than I thought.

And we're off!

And we’re off! Thanks to sixty-degree weather, we weren’t bundled like usual

The tree’s weight was the least of our problems we quickly came to learn when we got home to put together the tree stand. These arthritic hands couldn’t hang. And Maggie turned her running gloves into gardening gloves and then into workman’s gloves as she tried, and succeeded, to screw all of the pieces together. Then the crowning moment came when we placed the tree and it was actually straight. Maggie quickly turned into Martha Stewart decorating the tree to perfection.

And I must say, after all the work, it’s well worth it. The smell of our apartment is fantastic and waking up or walking in and seeing the tree just lifts your spirits.

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**Don’t worry, our building has a tree recycling program where they come by and pick up your tree when you’re done. Another key factor for our decision.**

A Moment of Thanks

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***I’ve recently just started my third Gratitude/Happiness Journal. Ever since Oct. 7, 2007, every day, I have written at least three things that made me happy that day. It’s a nice way to look back over the past 5 years and see how much there truly is to be thankful for.***

There’s a lot to be thankful for this year. And I wouldn’t know where to start. But luckily, one of the things I’m thankful for just walked into the room.

Matthias was a missing link in our family before showing up nine years ago. I often forget just the kind of family dynamic and power he brings, mainly because when I see or talk to him, it’s just us. After surprising Mom last night, it hit me as we spent nearly 3 hours at the dinner table. As he and Mom sat there catching up and having thoughtful conversations, it dawned on me; underneath his huge muscle mass, he’s a huge softie. He loves family. He loves laughing. And he loves those close to him so very much.

No matter the time that passes, he always has a place in our house. Even Oscar the dog was smitten with Matthias, refusing to leave his side all morning. I’m thankful that Mom and I have someone like this in our lives. Someone who gets up at 6:30 while he’s on vacation to cook you his family’s special eggs before you head off to work. Someone who sings along at a very (some may say insane) high octave while you clean the kitchen.  Someone who does pretty much anything to get a laugh out of you.

He’s more than a friend and brother. He’s our German Destroyer. And I’m thankful he barged through our lives nearly a decade ago and made himself right at home. Hope everyone has an equally fantastic Thanksgiving holiday.

Sending Mom off to work after cooking her the most important meal of the day. He went back to bed immediately after she left.