>O Tannenbaum


Oh yeah. Oh Christmas Tree!

This year we went (or, Coffeedoc and most of the kiddles went) over the river and through the woods. Not to Grandmother’s house, but rather to the perfect Christmas tree farm. It’s almost the same thing…. Because Coffeedoc was in search of the perfect Christmas tree and wanted one fresh, not cut a month ago. Because, yes that’s right, we are only just now getting our tree up. Because some might say we are behind the curve. And they do. But we like to think we are right on time. Heck, even the Vatican just put up it’s tree. And if it’s good enough for the Pope, then it’s good enough for us! (Ok, so maybe we are week behind the curve…it’s a busy house, c’mon)
Because we have been celebrating and living advent. And Christmas lasts through Epiphany, which is, of course, on January 6th. And most of the trees found on the corner lot, well, they’ve been dead since Thanksgiving or before. So, by golly, this year we were gonna do it differently. No more fretting about the house going up in flames as the clock ticked the year away. No more squabbles about watering the tree when it wasn’t drinking. This year, we were gonna go get a tree, not a day too early.
And so we did.

Which means that Sunday Coffeedoc and bigger kids (save for Gabe and Miss M, we had a lovely day) went to find the best tree ever. And so they did.
Which means that yesterday was spent in the annual lighting tangle with requisite trips to various stores to find them empty of Christmas lights, stripped bare shelves all ready for post Christmas sales (sheesh!). Which means that after the manly grumbling teens got the lights around the very largish tree we were ready.
We were ready and small ones chomping at the bit for the the annual free-for-all of ornament giddyness and nostalgia called trimming the tree.
In years past, it seemed to take for-ever. This year, it went at warp speed. Even Boobo noticed it, and as a teen, any family activity tends to take too too long. Coffeedoc and I both laughed and said at the same time, “lots of hands, light work!” (Yeah, we’ve been married a long time, gotta love that mind meld stuff).
Of course, no surprise is the fun we all had watching Gabriel point and “ooh” and “Oh!” over the lights and the exciting ornaments; being lifted high by Buddybug to help.
So, we did it. Got the perfect tree: my favorite (thank you Coffeedoc!), a Frasier fir. It’s the biggest tree we’ve ever had. It’s the prettiest. And by golly, it IS the freshest too. It should certainly last in beauty and safety through the whole Christmas season: to Epiphany.

But what is even better is the fun and wonder that lights up the eyes of our youngest sweet son. I watch him park himself, legs out, in front of the tree early in the morning. Then soon enough wander over to see if he can grab an ornament (yes, the tree if bottom half bare, classic toddler decor) or click the light switch. So of course it’s one of my best gifts of all and the most fun: seeing Christmas for the first time, through his eyes.

>O Emmanuel


O Emmanuel (Isaiah 7:14), our king and lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22),
hope and salvation of the peoples (Genesis 49:10; John 4:42):
come to save us, O Lord our God (Isaiah 37:20).

O EMMANUEL, rex et legifer noster,
expectatio gentium et salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Dominus Deus noster.

And you really can’t finish advent, or these O antiphons, without hearing this hymn. This is it. It is our cry in advent (well, always, but especially now). And it is one of my very very favorites, especially in this season. Enjoy.