just your classic Christmas stand-off.

Our house was basically a tear-jerking scene out of the short story “The Gift of the Magi” last night. In our 6 years of marriage, we have never bought a Christmas tree. 

I want a real tree. 
Sam wants a fake tree. 

And since we simply will not give in, we just never get a tree. Also, we are available to facilitate marriage counseling if you are in need. Gather round, glean from our wisdom and advice.

Well, the thing is, now we have this adorable toddler who loves all things Christmas. She races over to pet our neighbor’s light-up lawn reindeer. She lives for the endlessly available cookies. She dances and claps to all the carols. And she especially adores Christmas trees. I’ve felt so sad for stealing joy away from her by not putting up a tree and lights in our house, so in humble tones I told Sam tonight that I couldn’t handle the guilt anymore. He could buy a fake tree for Clara’s sake.

And then SAM told ME that he’d been thinking the same thing all week and feeling guilty for not giving our daughter the gift of a sparkly, lit up Christmas season. So we could buy a real tree for Clara’s sake. 

Upon which I burst into song and leapt about our living room in a chorus of “It’s the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!” Because it IS, you know?
Or, actually, I just gave Sam a hug and started moving furniture around in my head to plan where the tree will stand. I’m pretty excited. For this year, at least, we are getting a real tree. We might still buy a fake one next year: discussions have yet to commence. Ugh, fake trees, you might as well spray the room with a gingerbread scent and e-mail out your family’s holiday card. 

But in a swirl of Christmas miracles, our house will soon smell of pine and cheer. And can you imagine the look on Clara’s face when she wakes up to a tree full of twinkling lights? That girl makes our life magic. If kids are good for anything (and they are good for a lot of things) it is this: They are not afraid to glow with wonder. And if you let it, that glow will soften everything in you. 

And now in the spirit of getting the holidays going, here are some pictures of Clara and her cousins, Ella and Ezra, at Thanksgiving. How about the ones of her and Ezra slow dancing? Priceless! Happy season of hope and cheer to you. May your cold winter months be filled with compromise and singing loud for all to hear. 

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