We decided, kind of by default, not to get a Christmas tree until Grace came home from college. She arrived home last Thursday.
Friday was a basketball game after school. Saturday was a day-long swim meet. We decided to get our tree after mass on Sunday morning. Then Spencer announced a special Sunday basketball practice at noon.
"Can we get the tree without you?" I asked.
He shrugged. It's hard to know if those shrugs mean, I don't care or I'm so sad that I won't be there to choose a Christmas tree.
We went without him. The YMCA lot only had 13 trees left. We chose one within minutes and tied it to the top of the car.
Earl set the tree in its stand while Grace, Tucker and I moved furniture around to make a place for the tree.
And it stood there, forlorn, free of decorations.
Christmas carolers came to the door that night -- four high school boys, friends of Grace. They came in and made no comment about the bare tree.
I scheduled a decorating time for Monday.
Tucker had swim from 8 to 10 a.m. and Spencer had basketball from 11 to 1. Earl had to leave for work at 3. I declared 2 p.m. tree decorating time.
Earl put the lights on the tree ahead of time and I made a batch of manicotti along with a salad to feed us afterward.
Charlie Brown Christmas music played as we hung ornaments.
Spencer was feeling sick so could only be roused to hang a few ornaments, but at least we were all together for a little while.
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