There is a queer peculiarity about the atmosphere when a little family goes-a-Christmas-tree hunting with crunchy leaves under foot and not even the slightest chill in the air.

On such an early December day, we went to meet our tree match. My husband clad in shorts and my daughter, overly dressed in her “snow boots.” But I would not have had it any other way. We galloped down the lanes of trees, circled the great harvest with joy, and anticipated the hot cups of chocolate and candy canes we would later have, never minding the seventy degree weather. Lucia scurried in excitement, her daddy yelled from behind to watch for the holes where trees had already been claimed from the earth. From time to time she would give pause and investigate the trees with her mama – me, an overly curious gal, obsessed with the various pine specimens, comparing length of needles and widths between boughs.

Our afternoon was filled with a new tradition – the collection of our first real tree, picked out and fastened to the roof of our car. Our house later filled with the delicious smell of pine, hot cocoa and the sound of Christmas records scratching in the background as we trimmed our pretty. Cozy.

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