When my husband and I were first married we moved to Panorama Resort for the summer. My husband was hired to lead groups of tourists down the whitewater rapids in a rubber raft. He acquired a company t-shirt that said, "Go Big or Go Home" and I think, for him, that typifies his approach to life in general. Whatever he does, he gives it his all, whether that is working, playing soccer, cycling, or pestering his children into submission.
A few weeks ago, he and our two girls went out to get a Christmas tree. Several years ago we started going to the Christmas tree farm of some acquaintances, Fred and Betty, who also ran a beautiful bed and breakfast they had built. Fred was dedicated to his trees and we could always find a beautifully trimmed six or seven foot fir, enjoy free hot chocolate and a visit with their two friendly and enthusiastic English Setters. Two years ago, Fred and Betty retired and sold their place. The trees have been pretty much left to fend for themselves, but my husband still goes out there every December to tramp through the once orderly cultured woods and find a tree. I swear - every year our tree gets bigger, and this year was no exception. Our living room ceiling remains only eight feet high, so I'm not quite sure why the trees my husband brings home keep getting bigger. This year he and the girls found a beauty - a 15 foot tall fir, matching its girth with its height. After cutting the top seven feet off of it, they shoved it in the back of our van and brought it home. Of course the girls could not wait to tell me about it the minute they jumped out of the van. "Mom! Just wait till you see the size of our tree. It's HUGE!" Once apon a time I would have reacted in surprise and alarm at the size of the thing, but I have just accepted, over time, that somehow my husband will make the tree fit and it will be a thing of beauty. This year's tree, with it's top half gone and its sides pruned, had lost its con-ical appearance and gained a com-ical one. It was immediately christened 'The Christmas Bush', to the delight of all my children's friends who came to see it. I have to admit, it did look quite wonderful when decorated and showcased our twenty year collection of ornaments like no other tree we have ever had. Unfortunately, several days ago the trunk's cut sealed itself and the tree stopped taking in water. Its bushiness is drooping and its evergreen is fading. I'm afraid it will have to come down on New Year's Day - before it becomes a fire hazard.
The other part of Christmas my husband is equally passionate about is The Food. Every year he manages to make his signature nanaimo bars and coconut slice, but the rest is up to me (and my daughter, if she feels baker-ish) since he is so busy with the Christmas rush at the hotel where he works. Around the end of November, my husband looks at me with hope in his eyes and asks, "Are you making your Christmas cake this year?" My cake is an Australian version made with pounds of tropical nuts and fruit and literally drowned in rum. He also gets excited about the turkey basted with butter and white wine and loves to tell everyone the story about picking up the first turkey we ever ordered: meant to be 9 pounds but ended up being 9 kilograms - to be consumed by only he and I and our two very little boys.
So, in keeping with today's theme of celebrating the Season to its fullest, I will leave this year with my version of The Twelve Days of Christmas:
On the first day of Christmas my true love ate with me, a turkey with extra gravy.
On the second day of Christmas my true love ate with me, two mashed starches....
On the third day of Christmas my true love ate with me, three Aussie fruitcakes...
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love ate with me, four pounds of chocolate...
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love ate with me, five golden tarts....
And on and on it goes;
Where it stops?
Lent, I suppose!
Bring on those New Year's resolutions!
Happy New Year to all my family and friends, and to you in blogland.