Christmas is my all-time favorite.
I know I grew up in a Hindu household. But I love all-things Christmas.
The red cups at every Starbucks. The holiday music that plays in every store. The ornaments and decorations in and around every mall.
But, more than anything, I love the Christmas trees. I love walking into a room and breathing in the strong, comforting smell of pine needles. I love sitting on the couch and staring at the bright Christmas lights. And I love the ornaments that have some sort of significant meaning to those who place them thoughtfully on the tree.
Growing up, we used to decorate the house, but after Sister and I went away to college, it wasn’t really a priority for
my mom the Budhraja family. So, after college, I decided to adopt the family tradition and invest in a Christmas tree every year. Yes, a real Christmas tree. [I’m such a grown-up.]
None of the artificial crap.
A real Christmas tree. I suffer the annoying clean-up process, the pine needles dropping on the carpet and the insects hiding on the branches. I do it all for that sweet, comforting smell of pine. The REAL DEAL.
And, every year, without fail, I’ve become way too attached to these trees. I give them names, I cuddle up next to them at night, and I get teary-eyed when I have to say goodbye to them. It’s an emotional process.
So, today, on Christmas Day, I want to commemorate these pines – both past and present – with a walk down Christmas Tree Lane.
2011 – Mezzer
Mezzer was my first Christmas tree love. At the time, I was living with Hema in Culver City. Hema had a 2-hour commute (one-way) and I wanted to do something nice and festive for her. I remember driving in the rain to the Christmas tree lot. I remember making stuffed bellpeppers for dinner. And I remember her face when she walked in the door and met Mezzer for the first time. Priceless.
2012 – Hilton
Hilton was my first Christmas tree in the Bay Area. I ordered her from Five Star Christmas trees and they delivered her right to my door. Hilton fell over a lot. She face-planted a few times while I was sleeping. Despite her instability, she served me well. She kept me happy at a time when I was feeling real homesick.
2013 – Lord Kiwani
Lord Kiwani was my first Christmas tree with BethyV. The money we used to buy Lord Kiwani was donated to Kiwanis International. Hence the name. A lot of wine and Grinch Spritzer was consumed around Lord Kiwani. He was showered with lots of love at the Holly Jolly Christmas Party. And he didn’t even mind that it smelled like a frat party the next morning. What a sport.
2014 – Fir-Ell Williams
Probably the name I’m most proud of, because it was the year of “Happy,” Pharell Williams on The Voice, and Pharell just blowing up in general. Not to mention, Fir-Ell Williams was a Douglas Fir. So it was an obvious choice. Fir-ell was hip and modern. He was also a little spoiled. We bought him all new lights [purchased from CVS] and a new tree skirt (the last one at Target!). And, because it was Target and impossible to walk out with just one thing, he got some new festive pillows to keep him company. Fir-Ell survived all the way until the end of January. He participated in the Long Live Christmas Party and then we said our goodbyes one week later. He was, without a doubt, HAPPY.
2015 – Chester
Chester was purchased in the rain immediately after I returned from Thanksgiving Break. I was deciding between 3 different lots before I settled on the one right across from my apartment complex. Chester was born and raised in Oregon. He’s slow to drink his water and he doesn’t always smell as nice as the others. But he warms my heart just the same.
Some people talk about their pets. Others discuss their Christmas trees.
I fall into the latter category.
I can’t help it. They are my family.
Questions of the Day:
- Do you buy a real Christmas tree? Do you chop it down yourself?
- Do you name your Christmas tree?
- What’s your favorite memory involving Christmas tree shopping?