Some years, we went to the tree farm in the next town over, trudging through snow-fallen rows of balsams and evergreens until we found the perfect one. Others, we got a tree from the Boy Scout lot. I remember many years waiting impatiently as Dad wrapped the tree in lights, wanting to just decorate it already! Eventually they got an artificial tree. The house is still no less special during the holidays and now that my niece is getting older, Christmas has become even more fun!
I have fond memories of Thanksgiving dinners at my Aunt's house and Christmas Eve's at my grandpa's. The latter is probably my most consistent, fond, favorite memory... every year was different and every year was wonderful. And every year, I relished the drive home from Grandpa's house to ours, feeling like I might burst with excitement and happiness and love, just the most incredible and pure joy. The lights and the deer in the yard and the Santa statuette in the boarded-up breezeway, the tree glowing in multicolored lights and shiny glass ornaments (so perhaps you can see why some of my most vivid childhood memories occurred on cold winter nights.) The holidays lingered on until after the start of the New Year, the decorations being put away one by one, the magic hanging on for as long as it could.