We will all get into McIrish’s truck. The children will campaign for the dog’s presence, then complain about having to sit with the dog. Princess Daughter will opt for fashion over warmth, and will be cold. Once at the farm, Dearest Son will run ahead or lag behind with the dog.
Tradition dictates that within ten minutes, we will find our perfect tree, but we will be convinced that a better tree exists, so we will tramp around for another forty-five minutes or so before coming back to the first tree. Then, we’ll pick out my mother’s Christmas tree, which will be significantly smaller than ours. I will speculate about the joys of a smaller tree and be rewarded with wounded looks for my traitorous words.
Tradition demands that our tree is slightly too large to fit in our Christmas tree stand, requiring me to hug the tree, getting needles in my eye, while McIrish cuts off chunks of the trunk and bolts the tree in. I then comment on my fears that our huge tree will fall, and McIrish will sigh, resist and then cave into my wishes for a securing line.
And tradition tells us to listen to the Messiah while decorating the tree, and that we sing along. We drink eggnog. I must put the hideous little legless fairy in her special front-and-center spot, and McIrish puts Peter Pan and Captain Hook in their usual combative traditions. Princess loves the dangly red and purple decoration Santa brought her, and Dearest Son loves the little dinosaurs.
And then, when it’s all done, tradition says that McIrish and the kids lie under the tree and look up into the brightly lit branches, and all is merry and bright.