So...this year, we have a white Christmas tree.
The tree is white, because of the request of my sister, literally on her deathbed. At first, I really didn't think this was a request that was lucid, but throughout her time with her friends, this was something that happened on occasion. So...my mother went out and bought a white tree.
We put over 500 little lights on it. The first go-around, my husband was asked to buy lights on the way home from work. When he got home, he realized that the cord was GREEN, and too highly visible on a WHITE tree (fail). But we went later on and got a white string, so everything was cool. The kids lit it, put the garland on, and hung on the ornaments.
Every year, we buy the kids one ornament. We started this tradition in the hopes that when the children were old enough to leave their nest, they would have a collection of ornaments to take with them to put on their own tree. We got the girls bells this year, engraved with their names and the year.
So after the tree was pretty and lit and decorated, the kids and husband went to bed. I thought about my sister, and how she would have enjoyed helping the girls, or merely watching them. And I cried a little. Somehow, it makes the holiday a little more lonely that she's not here. I'm sure it won't be the last time. That's okay, though. On the up side, I my family may be small, but it's great. And I have a few really good friends to share the holiday with.