Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our First Christmas

I can't believe that this year already marks our second Christmas together as a married couple. We've been married for a year and a half...are we even newlyweds anymore?

Our first Christmas together last year stands out in my heart as one of my most precious memories. We spent Christmas Eve day with Lenny's family, then Christmas Eve and Day with my family. We actually did that the year before, too, just after getting engaged. My favorite part, though, was our little Friday evening spent setting up our "Charlie Brown" fake Christmas tree. I made gluten-free pizza and Lenny brought home sparkling cider- our favorite drink, childish, I know!
My parents loaned us one of their little fake trees. We'd pulled it out of my car and Lenny dragged it up the three flights of stairs to our apartment. We turned on the local station that plays all Christmas music in December and turned the lights down low. We straightened the sparse little branches and the kittens helped with the lights.

Then came the ornaments. For me, this was the best part. My mom has given her two daughters an ornament every year for Christmas since we were born. The year before, she had packed up (a little sadly) each of my ornaments for me in a box since I'd finally have my own tree. (The tree my roomies had in college that changed colors didn't count!) She even gave me some of the angel ornaments my great-grandmother had made years ago. One of the angels had to be first on the tree.

When we finished hanging all of the ornaments, we realized we didn't have a star or angel for the top. However, we did have a cuddling moose couple table topper that we decided was perfect for the top of the tree. I yoinked that treasure at a thrift store.

The final product. Awesome, I know. As we sat in the quiet ambient light of multi-colored tree, I felt that my first Christmas tree was perfect. The whole special evening was everything I'd hoped for and more. It was everything my mom had hoped for too. See, her first Christmas wasn't so precious. She was a 22-year-old newlywed 1,000 miles from home eight months pregnant with her first baby on her first Christmas. My mom and dad had nothing, and were worried about affording so much as diapers when the baby (me) came. My mom would literally come home from work that December and sit on a pillow on the floor in front of a teeny little television, waiting for my dad to come home from working his 18 hour day as a new stockbroker. She didn't have a single ornament for her first tree, or any money for presents. There were a lot of tears that December for her, missing home and feeling lonely. She was determined that neither of her girls would experience that, and did a perfect job setting us up so perfectly. It was wonderful.

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