Over the past several months I have tried to imagine what Christmas will be like this year in Tennessee. The possibility that we could have a white Christmas somehow causes a child-like excitement to well up within me. The days have become much colder, and snow flurries have become a more regular occurrence. I sit at the window mesmerized by the snow falling. I don’t think I will ever tire of watching the snowflakes as they float down weightlessly, laying a beautiful white blanket on the ground. I have also begun to think about some of the traditions we bring with us and new traditions that will become a part of the fabric of our celebration. Christmas will be modest this year but the enjoyment of the season will be rich.
There is one tradition that will live on for generations: the receiving of new pajamas on Christmas Eve. The Pajama Elf makes his way to our doorstep leaving new pj’s for both of us. He is incredibly crafty and stealth-like in his delivery. He cleverly times it while we are together and always during the daylight. I made sure to put in our change of address so that the Pajama Elf will not receive back a package marked “Return to Sender”.
One tradition that has been laid aside this year is putting up a fake Christmas tree. Now, I grew up going to the Christmas tree lot every year to pick out the fullest, freshest, most fragrant Douglas Fir that $30 could buy. Phoenix, however, doesn’t have beautiful Christmas trees for $30 nor did I have any guarantee as a single mom on a very limited budget that I would have the disposable income. The solution then was to spend the money on a fake tree and have it year after year. However, with the move, that was one item that we left behind. Here in lies the crossroads: buy a fresh tree or spend the money on a fake one that we will have year after year. The decision was made, and dare I say a new tradition as well, to buy a fresh tree.
We didn’t go to a lot to pick out the “perfect” tree. The perfect Frasier Fir was delivered to our door as a surprise late Friday night. After returning from Nashville Saturday morning with the disappointment of missing the Midstate audition, Mr. CB met us at our place to make hard-boiled eggs, Isabel’s favorite, and scrambled egg whites with soy cheese for me. We spent the cold rainy morning decorating the tree with our Disney ornaments, hanging stockings and taking crazy silly pictures. This undoubtedly was the most memorable tree trimming in years. It was a morning of celebrating Christmas and celebrating relationships.
One tradition that we will be starting this year and is unique to living in Nashville is visiting the Opryland Hotel’s spectacular lights display. We have not had the opportunity to go yet, but plans are to go this week. I imagine it will be something like going to see the Torrance Lights, where carolers and hot cocoa were in the foreground to the beautiful backdrop of the lights that went on as far as the eye could see. As I hear people describe the awesome and elaborate display at this landmark hotel, I become more and more excited.
I am thankful that we have begun to settle into our new life in Tennessee and together we are creating memories and sharing new experiences.