A couple days before Christmas, I started wishing we had put up a tree, since I really do think they’re pretty. But we had decided it would just be a waste of time and money, since we don’t really celebrate the holiday anyway, and since we were going to my parents’ house for Christmas dinner – no one was going to be coming to our house. Now that Christmas is over, I’m glad we didn’t get a tree. No pine needles on the floor (or in the dog’s mouth), no tree to recycle, no decorations to put back in the crawl space. But we did find out about a tree lot near here where they sell small trees that have been thinned from local forests to prevent fires. They’re oddly shaped Charlie Brown trees, and I think they’re perfect. So next year, I think we just might get one of those.
Overall, we had a great Christmas season. We only got gifts for three people: my husband’s parents, and one friend that I work with at the library. My husband’s parents always send us a big box full of presents, and I do enjoy finding something they’ll like. This year, I had pictures of their grandkids printed on a mousepad (for him) and a tote bag (for her). They turned out super cute, and I know they’ll both get used. For my friend at the library, I got a carved wooden plate when we were in Hawaii, and I also made her a set of notecards using pictures I took in Hawaii. I also made ornaments for our five nieces, as I do every year. For everyone else, we spent time rather than buying gifts. None of our friends or family really need any more stuff. But we could all do with spending more time together. So over the last few weeks, we’ve had a dinner out with my best friend and her husband (who are in the hospital today in labor with their first baby!!), dinner with another couple my husband has known since college, two parties where we’ve been able to see lots of friends at once, and a wine/cheese/game night with another couple. For each of these events, I’ve baked or cooked something to take along, and the atmosphere was festive all around. Now that everything is winding down, we’re grateful to have had time to spend with our friends (some of whom we only see a few times a year). I’ll take that over material gifts any day.