John almost missed getting a real tree this year. His grandparents put up their tree on Christmas Eve, but that doesn’t work in this part of the South. People here in Western North Carolina have their trees centered in a prominent window and lit the weekend after Thanksgiving. He went tree-hunting on the 5th of December and found most of the tree farms closed for the season. He found one place still open. They were no longer cutting fresh trees but had a few available. He brought one home, moved it inside before our big snowstorm, and dragged it to the living room the day before he went to pick up grandson David.
Neighbor Shawn noticed the bare tree when she came over. She said she’d never seen any tree as intricately decorated as our past trees had been. Teasing, she said she wanted to be there to watch John decorate it. She said, “I don’t think I could bear to watch him very long. I’d have to leave.”
When John began putting the ornaments on, I texted Shawn that she could come and stay as long as she could stand it. She couldn’t come, but she laughed at the invitation. David and I went in the living room to watch. Before long, David was on the floor being drawn into the operation.
Minutes later, he was adding ornaments himself.
I persuaded the men to pose with the finished tree.
I’m glad they didn’t take pictures of me. While they were decorating, I prepared the frozen salad for Christmas dinner and de-boned chicken for the main dish. We were doing well to have all this done a full week before Christmas Eve.