Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Our Christmas Tree

I was in a quandary about how to decorate for Christmas this year. Specifically, what to do about the tree. I wanted to decorate for the holiday, but I just couldn't put up the Christmas tree.

There’s a story behind the tree. It is an artificial one The Picky Eater had when we met. He said he bought it in 1979 from a Topeka store that is no longer around. It is the type where you match the color-coded branches to the pegs in the center pole. He adored that tree.

I hate that tree! It is a pain to put up, looks straggly no matter how much adjusting I do, and it is covered in dust from decades of Christmases past. The base is cracked. One Christmas the tree kept falling over (once on top of my nephew!), so I had to tie the base together with kitchen twine to keep the tree upright.

I tried to convince The Picky Eater of the benefits offered by a modern, pre-lit tree, but he wouldn't hear of it. So each year, we put it up.

As my first Christmas without The Picky Eater approached, I knew I didn't want to put up that old, dusty tree. However, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it either.

So, I compromised. I took the top section of the tree, which is all in one piece, and after some juggling and innovative adjustments, set it into the twine-supported base. Then I decorated it with our special ornaments.

In the early days of our relationship, The Picky Eater and I were shopping at Crown Center in Kansas City with his sister and family. There was a store full of Christmas decorations, and he said, “Let’s go in and pick out a special ornament just for us.”

Ever since, we bought an ornament every year just for us.

This is that first one from Christmas, 2010:

This second one was bought a couple of weeks before our wedding on Christmas Eve, 2011:

Then we bought this one on our honeymoon at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri:

The red heart was added in 2012. We picked it because we liked to watch reruns of the television series Hart to Hart, and The Picky Eater liked to think of us as business tycoon Jonathan and freelance writer Jennifer Hart, without the knack for finding dead bodies!

This was the one for 2013. The Picky Eater was a courier and was gone on his route from 6 p.m. to about 3 or 4 a.m. It was a comfort when he returned home each morning.

For this year, I bought this dove from Prairie Glass Studios in downtown Topeka as my way to honor and remember the love of my life:

Next year I may have a big, new, pre-lit tree for Christmas. Who knows?  For now, I get a lot of joy from looking at “our” Christmas tree.


  1. Dear Linda, You are a strong and inspiring person.
    I know how difficult Christmas is when a loved one is gone. I admire you very much for your strength and poise.
    The dove is a beautiful sentiment.
    xo Catherine

  2. Dear Linda, Catherine has expressed my sentiments exactly. You are one amazing lady!

    I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Picky Eater is watching over you smiling with Joy. Each and every ornament is tells a loving story. I especially like the first one:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Linda...

  3. Virtual hug! Love, love, love and that's what it's all about! You've done brilliantly making that tree yours- in honor of him ... and Christmas.

  4. What a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL post. Almost had me in tears (I'm so bloomin emotional at the moment) Your strength inspires me, those ornaments are beautiful and you're amazing.

    I hope you have a lovely Christmas Linda.

  5. The first year is the hardest. I'll never forget my sweet husband, but as time goes by, the pain lessens.

    Hugs to you sweetie,


  6. A beautiful tree. I'm not sure I'd have gotten up anything. Love the dove! December blessings, friend:)

  7. Linda, I know how bitter-sweet the holidays can be when you lose someone you love. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
    Beautiful post! Sending hugs.