We had a number of stops that night. Groceries and something for dinner were on the list, but that wasn’t why Atticus was excited. Well, I suppose he was hungry, but the real drive was what waited for us at the promised last stop of the evening: a Christmas tree.
Tricia and I had been debating whether or not we would get a tree this year. Between Zane and the puppy it seemed an exercise in futility. As much as I love having a Christmas tree, I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the rest of the month acting as its guardian. We have a nice and increasingly expensive collection of ornaments and the idea of them breaking on a daily basis did not fill me with anything resembling the holiday spirit. Still, I promised the kids a tree.
We were in the grocery store with a basket full of food and standing in line at the deli for some fried chicken to take home for dinner. We had time to kill (and chickens) and Atticus started examining the small forest of planted trees that fenced us in.
“I want this Christmas tree,” he said.
“That poor, little thing, Chuck?” I asked him. He didn’t acknowledge my Charlie Brown reference.
“Yes, let’s get this one. I like it.”
I looked at the price, about half of what I had been prepared to spend.
“This is a tree that is still alive,” I told him. “We can plant it in the yard after Christmas.”
“Yes, let’s plant it now.”
“Well, let’s wait until after Christmas. You realize that we won’t be able to use the ornaments, right?”
“That’s okay, Daddy. I’ll make ornaments.”